UNAIDS commends Viet Nam on its national HIV prevention strategy

18 October 2004

Viet Nam's national HIV prevention strategy, which targets prostitutes and addicts, should be replicated in other countries, a senior official with the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said today.

The country's Government has divided up the work of AIDS prevention and treatment among several ministries, giving specific duties to each, but naming one to lead their collaboration in particular areas. The new strategy also focuses on reaching sex workers and injecting drug users.

"This is an excellent national strategy and stands as a model for other countries in the region and the world, that stands as a model for other countries in the region and the world," UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Kathleen Cravero told Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem in Hanoi.

"By adopting the National AIDS Strategy, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has underscored the urgent need to act now to contain the growing AIDS epidemic in Viet Nam," she added.

Viet Nam's Ministry of Health estimated that 215,000 people were living with HIV by the end of last year, meaning that 1 out of every 75 households had an infected family member. Officials are trying to reduce the stigma of having the disease.

"Viet Nam President Tran Duc Luong's recent visit with people living with HIV was an important step in fighting the stigma surrounding HIV," Dr. Cravero said.


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