Int’l community continues help Viet Nam fight HIV/AIDS

Ha Noi (VNA) –The international community has shown their willingness to continue to help Viet Nam fight HIV/AIDS, the Health Ministry have said.

At the mid-term Consultative Group (CG) Meeting in Ha Long last weekend, the United Nations pledged to continue its aid to Viet Nam in this field, focusing o­n improving the living conditions for HIV patients, particularly children.

Other donors also cited HIV/AIDS as a challenge to Viet Nam in its development mission and suggested ways to cooperate and fight against the disease.

According to the Health Ministry, the international community has funded a total of 29 HIV/AIDS projects with a combined capital of 103 million USD since 1999.

Those projects focusing o­n implementing nine action plans under the National HIV/AIDS Control Programme by 2010 and Vision 2020, which was approved by the Prime Minister, have been carried out effectively, said the Ministry.

Prominent among these was the US project o­n preventing HIV/AIDS, the HIV/AIDS Control project of the World Bank, and the Global Fund’s community-based project o­n strengthening care and consultation to HIV/AIDS affected people.

The country will need over 518 million USD to carry out HIV/AIDS control programmes between 2007-2010.

On its own, Viet Nam has been spending more o­n the efforts to curb the deadly disease.

According to the HIV/AIDS Prevention Department, the State budget allocations for HIV/AIDS prevention increased from 45 billion VND per year in the 1995-1999 period to 80 billion VND in the 2004-2006 period. The figure for this year is estimated at over 440 billion VND.

The government aims to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing HIV infection rate to 0.3 percent of the population in 2010.

To support the battle legally, a series of documents have been issued to create a framework for anti-HIV/AIDS activities, particularly the HIV/AIDS Prevention Law which became effective o­n January 1, 2007.

Although awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention has been raised, Viet Nam has yet to control rates of infection, said the Ministry of Health.

By March 31, 2007, Viet Nam had reported 122,487 HIV/AIDS-infected people, of whom 13,157 had died of the disease.-Enditem