|A medical worker take blood sample for HIV test at the Khánh Hòa Province HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Centre. — Photo khanhhoa.gov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Some 50,000 people living with HIV across the country do not know they are affected with the virus, making up 20 per cent of the total number of people living with HIV.
The information was released by Võ Hải Sơn, an expert from the Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) at a conference held on Thursday in Hà Nội.
They, thus, unintentionally became a carrier of the virus, spreading it in the community, as they did not receive consultancy and preventive services, Sơn said.
“Thus, to reach the target of 90 per cent of people living with HIV becoming aware of their condition by 2020, great efforts from individuals and the community are needed,” he said.
Although there is no specific remedy to treat HIV, antiretroviral (ARV) therapy can lead to a longer duration of healthy living for people with HIV.
To cope with the problem, the administration launched this year’s national action month on HIV/AIDS prevention and control started this Friday.
The action month is aimed at urging the participation of all people and raising their awareness, especially targeted at those living in poor remote areas, according to Hoàng Đình Cảnh, deputy director of the VAAC.
It is also aimed at expanding coverage and improving the quality of preventive services.
During the action month, conferences, education programmes and parades will be held.
Programmes on preventing discrimination against people living with HIV will be organised in several provinces and press awards on HIV/AIDS prevention and control will be presented.
Statistics of the VAAC showed that in the first nine months this year, more than 6,880 people were found to be living with HIV, a decrease of 14 per cent compared with the same period last year.
More than 3,480 people contracted AIDS, a decrease of 39 per cent compared with the same period last year.
More than 122,430 patients received ARV therapy, an increase of 6,000 compared with last year.
Sơn said that at present, most medical stations across the country could conduct HIV tests.
The technique to diagnose HIV is very simple, and patients could take blood themselves from their finger for testing. — VNS