Vietnam: HIV infections on the rise

The number of new HIV infections has been on the rise in Vietnam, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM) and those with unsafe sexual behaviours, heard a conference on policies for HIV/AIDS prevention in Ho Chi Minh City on September 27.

More than 4,540 HIV infections had been detected in the first half of 2017, raising the total number in the country to 209,591, according to Nguyen Hoang Long, head of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control.

Of them, 56 percent are getting anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy, he said, adding the total number of AIDS patients is 90,190.

Nine provinces and cities are yet to complete a project on allocating finance for HIV/AIDS prevention, he said.

It is expected that health insurance would cover ARV drugs from 2019, and the ratio of people with HIV/AIDS who have insurance increased from 64 percent February last year to 76 percent in June, he said.

In 34 provinces, more than 80 percent have insurance, he added.

At the conference, UNAIDS country director Marie Odile Emond said Vietnam needs to sustain its strong political commitment and increase spending on HIV prevention and treatment to maintain its hard-gained achievements and to fast track its HIV response towards ending AIDS by 2030. Read more via Vietnam Plus