Vietnam among world’s top performers in HIV/AIDS treatment

Thursday, 2020-11-19 10:03:42
 Font Size:     |        Print
 

Students of Ngo Quyen High School, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province, made propaganda posters on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and prostitution. (Photo provided by the school)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – Vietnam is one of the four leading countries in the world regarding the best quality of HIV/AIDS treatment, with the percentage of HIV-infected people receiving ARV treatment with viral load below the inhibitory threshold now at 96%, contributing to reducing HIV infection in the community.

That was announced by Dr. Hoang Dinh Canh, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control, at a recent press meeting to provide information on the 2020 National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, which will take place from mid-November to mid-December.

The National Action Month focuses on the theme "30 years of response and the chance to end the AIDS epidemic in Vietnam", marking an important milestone for Vietnam and its partners to look back on the achievements of the HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes over the past 30 years.

According to Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Hoang Long, Head of the Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control, Vietnam's goal to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 means that by that time, the epidemic will no longer be a concern of any individual or the community, as it becomes a normal disease.

The number of cases falling below 1,000 a year and a death rate related to HIV/AIDS at below 1/100,000 would basically mark end the AIDS epidemic in Vietnam, Long stated.

Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Hoang Long, Head of the Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control. (Photo: Manh Tran)

According to Dr. Hoang Dinh Canh, over the past 10 years, Vietnam has continuously recorded declines in the number of newly infected cases, the number of which converted to AIDS, and the deaths related to HIV/AIDS. The country has controlled HIV infection rate in the community at below 0.3%.

Since 2000, Vietnam has made prophylaxis for about 500,000 people to be not infected with HIV and 200,000 without dying from AIDS.

For HIV-infected people, if they receive early treatment, those infected at age 20 can live 50-60 years longer. Life expectancy of the infected person is almost normal so long as they are treated early and adhere to treatment regimes.

In terms of treatment, Vietnam has the highest quality of HIV/AIDS treatment in the world. ARV treatment continues to be expanded, with good quality of treatment. Currently, there are more than 153,000 patients receiving ARV treatment, with the compliance rate for a whole year reaching 88%.

Viral load test continues to remain high for the 3rd year. Viral load below inhibitory threshold reached 96% and below detection threshold reached 92%.

In particular, last year Vietnam successfully transformed ARV treatment from aid support to being under health insurance. Currently, nearly 50,000 patients are receiving ARV drugs through health insurance system.

Early and continuous taking of ARVs and strict adherence to treatment principles also help HIV-infected people reduce the risk of dying from opportunistic infections.

In the coming years, Canh suggested that Vietnam should continue to expand ARV treatment and HIV/AIDS treatment service delivery, while optimising ARV regimen according to WHO recommendations, strengthening HIV drug resistance surveillance and diversifying pre-exposure prophylaxis models.

The recently approved law amending and supplementing certain articles of the law on HIV/AIDS prevention and control by the National Assembly on November 16, which is scheduled take effect from July 1, 2021, is expected to create a favourable legal corridor for HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities, aiming to end the epidemic by 2030.

Long emphasised that the results achieved and lessons learned during the past 30 years in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, along with the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control have just been approved by the Prime Minister, will offer good opportunities for Vietnam to eliminate the AIDS epidemic by 2030.