Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Ministry of Health (MoH), the US Embassy and HIV community groups yesterday launched the first-ever HIV self-testing services in Việt Nam.
More than 200,000 people have been diagnosed with HIV infection, with 110,000 people receiving antiretroviral therapy, said Nguyễn Hoàng Long, director of the Việt Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control.
“HIV self-testing is the next step in increasing access to HIV testing, and normalising it as other over-the-counter rapid tests do (e.g., for diabetes or pregnancy),” he said.
“It can help Việt Nam achieve 90-90-90 goals by reaching the yet unreached individuals and enrolling those that have HIV into treatment services,” Long said.
The 90-90-90 goals say that by 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
Since October 2015, the Healthy Markets project, supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by PATH, has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to introduce community-based HIV testing options for key populations, including HIV self-testing.
“Now, our Vietnamese and American partnership is launching HIV self-testing, which puts testing directly in the hands of the individuals. HIV testing has never been as simple as it is with a self-test. Anyone at risk can learn their HIV status confidentially, privately, and in a safe way,” said Ted Osius, US Ambassador to Việt Nam. — VNS