Towards 90-90-90 target to end AIDS epidemic in Vietnam

Thursday, 2016-11-10 12:47:05
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Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam and UN Deputy Secretary General Michel Sidibe show their determination to reach the UN’s target of 90-90-90 in Vietnam during the launch of a response programme in Hanoi on October 25, 2015. (Credit: vaac.gov.vn)
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NDO—A national action month for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS will take place from November 10 to December 10 with the theme “Towards the 90-90-90 Target to End the AIDS Epidemic in Vietnam,” according to the National Committee for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, Drug Addiction and Prostitution.

The 90-90-90 target was set by the United Nations at a global AIDS conference in 2014. Accordingly, it aims by 2020 to have 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people diagnosed with HIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of people receiving antiretroviral therapy virally suppressed, thereby ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

During the month of action, a range of activities will be held at the central level, including a rally and a march in Da Nang in response to the national event and the World AIDS Day, announcing the winners of a journalism contest on HIV/AIDS and of the Red Ribbon Award in Ho Chi Minh City, and an annual workshop on strengthening cooperation among civil society and partners in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.

Notably, PEPFAR Vietnam and the Vietnam National Drama Theatre will jointly organise a tour in several locales for the play “Three in One,” targeting discrimination against people living with HIV, drug users and sex workers and encouraging people with HIV to get health insurance.

At the ministerial and local levels, the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of AIDS, Drug Addiction and Prostitution is also organising various activities on the theme accordance with the conditions and characteristics of each local unit.

In past years, Vietnam has made positive achievements in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, as continuing to control the HIV infection rate in the community at less than 0.3%. For eight consecutive years, the annual number of new HIV infections has been experiencing a trend of reduction, and the number of people with AIDS and the number of deaths due to HIV/AIDS have also decreased.

However, only approximately 80% of people living with HIV are aware of their status and nearly 50% of people diagnosed with HIV are receiving antiretroviral treatment. Vietnam is expanding viral load testing as recommended by the World Health Organisation with the aim of making viral load testing routine.

In Vietnam, the cumulative number of people living with HIV continues to rise, while the number of people living with HIV in need of care and lifelong treatment has exceeded 200,000. Each year, there are also 12,000 new HIV infections and 2,000-3,000 deaths due to HIV/AIDS.

The lack of resources for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS is also another challenge.

According to experts, with an average investment level of US$92 million a year, Vietnam could save 150,000 people from HIV and end the epidemic by 2030.