12.03.2021, 08:16

160,000 HIV-infected people set to receive ARV treatment

Vietnam hopes to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to about 160,000 people living with HIV/AIDS this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.


160,000 HIV-infected people set to receive ARV treatment

People living with HIV/AIDS are consulted and give ARV in a health centre in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province. Photo: VNA

Vietnam hopes to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to about 160,000 people living with HIV/AIDS this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Dam, who is also chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control, has called on ministries and agencies to improve the legal framework and issue detailed instructions to better implement the amended law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control that was approved by National Assembly last year.

He asked for diverse measures to be used for HIV/AIDS prevention and control and increasing the provision of preventive treatment for people in high-risk groups.

The Deputy PM said he expected more HIV/AIDS patients would be able to access ARV treatment with the medical costs covered by the public health insurance fund.  

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, since the first HIV/AIDS case was detected in Vietnam in 1990, until now, more than 102,000 people in the country have died of AIDS and about 250,000 HIV patients are still alive, but only 210,000 know their HIV status.

Vietnam has a rate of HIV-infected people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment with a viral load below the inhibitory threshold reaching 96 percent, meaning that they have undetectable levels of HIV in their bodies and they pose no risk of HIV transmission to their sexual partners who are negative to HIV.

Over the past 10 years, Vietnam has kept the community HIV infection rate below 0.3 percent.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), since 2000 the country has deployed preventive measures to stop 400,000 people from being infected with HIV while 150,000 received treatment that prevented death from AIDS.

In 2014, Vietnam became the first country in Asia to adopt the 90-90-90 targets set by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, under which by 2020, 90 percent of those living with HIV would know their HIV status; 90 percent of people who know their status are in HIV treatment, and 90 percent of all patients in treatment would have undetectable levels of HIV in their bodies.

Only the third target was achieved by the year 2020.

Vietnam is known as one of four countries with the best HIV/AIDS treatment in the world along with Germany, the UK and Switzerland, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said when he introduced to the National Assembly the draft of amendments to Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control last year.

At a recent meeting highlighting key tasks in HIV/AIDS, drug and prostitution prevention and control this year, Dam emphasised the need to increase public understanding and awareness over the issues.

He called on press and media agencies to support communication campaigns.

Regarding drug crime prevention and control, he asked the ministries of security, defence and finance to step up the fight on drug crimes, particularly in border areas.

Ministries of Public Security, Industry and Trade, Finance, Health, Agriculture and Rural Development were told to direct strict control of precursors and addictive drugs in import, export and production and business so criminals could not take advantage of legal loopholes to produce synthetic drugs.

The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs was asked to study and propose policies on drug addiction prevention, evaluate the pilot implementation of detoxification support models and improve the capacity of drug addiction treatment.  VNA