A patient receives HIV/AIDS treatment at a medical facility. VNA/VNS Illustrative Photo
THÁI NGUYÊN The number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in the northern province of Thái Nguyên ranks fourth nationwide behind three big cities of HCM City, Hà Nội and Hải Phòng.
This has put a heavy burden on the provincial healthcare sector, said Hoàng Đình Cảnh, deputy head of the Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control under the Ministry of Health.
According to Cảnh, there are 6,721 infected people living in the province.
“Those infected with HIV/AIDS are not only local residents but those who are living in the province temporarily,” Cảnh, who had a working session with local authorities on Monday, said.
Nguyễn Vy Hồng, head of Thái Nguyên Province’s Health Department, said 69 people had been diagnosed in the first half of this year, an increase of five compared to the same period last year.
More people have been diagnosed thanks to HIV/AIDS prevention and control projects funded by the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention under the US Department of Health and Services; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the World Health Organisation.
According to Hồng, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the province has increased due to social evils, especially drug addiction and prostitution. The province also has a large number of migrant workers who move in to work at ore mines and industrial parks, which contributes to the increasing number of HIV/AIDS infection cases.
Limited resources and slow disbursement of the State budget at the local level have prevented effective prevention and control work.
In the first six months of this year, 3,826 patients received antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Among those, 119 were children. That means nearly 60 per cent of infected people received ARV.
As many as 2,331 people received methadone maintenance therapy.
Deputy head of Việt Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control Hoàng Đình Cảnh said with a large number of HIV/AIDS-infected people, “The local medical sector must review the statistics in order to achieve 90-90-90 target, which means 90 per cent of people living with HIV/AIDS know their status, 90 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV receive ARV therapy and 90 per cent of patients being treated with ARV will receive viral suppression.”
He said the state budget would be allocated to the province to assist HIV/AIDS patients to buy health insurance. VNS