USAID project helps country respond to HIV/AIDS
Wenesday, 14/08/2013 - 12:55 PM (GMT+7)
USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker: The project worked closely with the Government to develop HIV-related policies to more effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic

Nhan Dan Online – The United States Agency for International Development Health Policy Initiative (USAID/HPI) has made contributions to developing and improving Vietnam’s legal documents and scaling up effective models across the country in coping with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Deputy Director of the Department of Social Affairs, under the Government Office, Doan Huu Bay made the statement at the opening of a workshop in Hanoi on August 14 to review the five-year project.
 
Funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the project has helped revise and develop 13 legal documents related to HIV and AIDS which have brought about positive changes, particularly the closure of five detention centres where sex workers used to access treatment and education. 
 
It has also helped promote effective prevention methods, better access to important HIV prevention services and a voluntary community-based treatment of drug users.
 
The project organised training courses for staff at over 300 local government and community institutions to more effectively engage in policy dialogue and advocate for better services for people at risk or living with HIV.
 
A number of 65 self-help groups for people living with HIV and AIDS across the country can now better lead and manage their organisations thanks to the training courses.
 
“The project worked closely with the Government to develop HIV-related policies to more effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker said. “The challenge for all development partners will be to enable a long-term policy environment that makes it possible to provide life-saving services for people living with HIV.”
 
The project worked with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Prime Minister, and Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism to improve laws and policies in the areas of treatment for drug addiction, HIV prevention in the context of sex work, and the role of civil society organisations in delivering HIV/AIDS services. It also provided training and support to 10 provincial HIV departments to use data for decisions and strategic planning for provincial HIV programs.
 
In addition, the project provided quality HIV/AIDS legal services to more than 5,000 people and successfully worked with the Government of Vietnam to transition HIV/AIDS legal services from stand-alone legal clinics to the Ministry of Justice’s nationwide legal aid system. 
 
The U.S. Government through PEPFAR has contributed over US$500 million since 2005 to prevent and control the spread of HIV in Vietnam and care for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and their families.
 
Hang Tran

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