Action month on HIV/AIDS targets HIV prevention activities

Friday, 2018-11-09 16:17:50
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Communication workers in Nghe An province’s Quy Chau district provide locals with information on HIV/AIDS prevention and control. (Photo: baonghean.vn)
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NDO – The 2018 National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control will take place from November 10 to December 10, with the theme "Take action to reach 90-90-90 goals by 2020!".

Vietnam is the first country in Asia Pacific to commit to realising the 90-90-90 goal set by the United Nations, which targets that, by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infections will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression to stay healthy and reduce the risk of HIV transmission to others.

Hoang Dinh Canh, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) under the Ministry of Health, revealed that the objective of the month is to strengthen preventive and testing activities to detect HIV infection, while reducing the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

During the month long campaign, a number of activities will be held, including conferences on community-based HIV testing, evaluating the implementation of 90-90 -90 targets towards the end of AIDS, and organising meetings with people living with HIV and those vulnerable to HIV.

Communication activities will be promoted, focusing on the benefits of counselling on early HIV testing and periodic testing for high-risk behavioural groups, early access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment services, promoting local ARV services, health insurance for HIV treatments, methadone addiction treatments, the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmissions, and non-stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

According to the VAAC, 2017 was the tenth consecutive year that HIV/AIDS has decreased in all three categories (new HIV diagnosed cases, HIV-turn-to-AIDS patients and deaths from AIDS) in Vietnam. In the first six months this year, the country has detected 3,500 newly-infected cases of HIV, down roughly 3% over the same period last year, while the number of HIV cases turning to AIDS dropped by 27%.