|Drug addicted people receive methadone at a HIV/AIDS prevention centre. Viet Nam will continue facing difficulties controlling HIV/AIDS due to a shortage of international aid, which accounted for more than 70 per cent of the country's HIV/AIDS response funding. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Tu
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam will continue facing difficulties controlling HIV/AIDS due to a shortage of international aid, which accounted for more than 70 per cent of the country's HIV/AIDS response funding, a conference heard yesterday.
At the conference on HIV/AIDS held in Ha Noi, Director of the Ministry of Health's HIV/AIDS Prevention and Fighting Department Nguyen Hoang Long said that HIV infections remained a serious concern, with an average of 13,000 new cases reported last year. Of these, 5,000 had serious health issues as a result and 2,000 died.
Long said health staff at ministries and in localities had been assigned to work on HIV/AIDS prevention and response. Thus, about 10 million people were instructed about the epidemic, an increase of three million compared with the previous year.
About 100,000 people benefited from antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 40,000 others were given methadone treatment.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long appraised the health sector's efforts. He also showed concern about the difficulties and challenges the country would face due to international aid cuts.
More than 70 per cent of the country's HIV/AIDS response came from international organisations, but the funds were reduced due to the country's new middle-income status and the global financial crisis.
Long pointed out four key tasks for the year. The ministry would continue implementing the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Fighting to reduce the infection rate to below 0.3 per cent, promote the participation of sectors and organisations in the work, enhance professional activities, and expand the healthcare network to assure the supply of drugs for HIV/AIDS treatment. — VNS