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VN falls short in AIDS, drugs, prostitution fight

Update: September, 22/2016 - 09:00
Police find drugs hidden in packages which marked as dried herbs. The packages were meant to be sent abroad. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tuấn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has urged ministries and agencies to enhance measures to prevent and control HIV/AIDS, drugs and prostitution from now to the end of the year, the Government Office has announced.

A conference of the Standing Board of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention to review work so far this year and set tasks for the remaining months on Tuesday heard that the country recorded some positive achievements during the period but many challenges remained.

These challenges included the number of drug addicts in methadone treatment falling short of Government targets, slow renovation of drug detoxification, an increase in methamphetamine trafficking and use and a rising number of drug addicts.

Communication works on HIV/AIDS, drugs and prostitution prevention and control remain limited and shortcomings still exist in regulations, heard the conference.

To help tackle these difficulties, the Deputy PM asked the Ministry of Public Security to submit the 2016-2020 programme on drug prevention to the Government and help other agencies amend the Law on Drug Prevention and Control.

The ministry was also urged to collaborate with the Ministry of Defence to tackle drugs in border areas.

As Chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention, Đam requested the Ministry of Health guide the use of methadone for drug addiction treatment and establish antiretroviral treatment management systems.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was asked to improve prostitution prevention while the Ministry of Justice will consider an administrative punishment on drug users.

The Deputy PM instructed local people’s committees to mobilise resources from the community for the fight against AIDS, drugs and prostitution, and link the work with socio-economic development.

Việt Nam had some 227,150 HIV patients by the end of 2015, and estimated that there were about 254,000 HIV-infected people in the country. The country aims to eliminate the HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030.

More than 11,200 prostitutes work in Việt Nam, based on statistics from authorised agencies in 63 provinces and cities across the country.

About 200,000 drug addicts have been identified and counted, as of January this year. - VNS

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