HIV infection rate dips to than 0.3%
Viet Nam has maintained its success in bringing down the rate of HIV infections in the population to less than 0.3 percent, said Director of the Viet Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control under the Ministry of Health Phan Thi Thu Huong.
In recent years, Viet Nam reduced the number of new infections and deaths related to HIV/AIDS by more than two-thirds compared to that 10 years ago.
The rate of HIV infection decreased rapidly among drug users (from 28 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2021) and female sex workers (from 5.9 percent in 2002 to 2.5 percent in 2022).
However, the HIV infection rate among drug users is still above 12 percent. That among men who have sex with men (MSM) rose rapidly in recent years (from 3.95 percent in 2011 to 5.1 percent in 2015 and 12.5 percent in 2022).
The number of MSM accounted for about 42.3 percent of HIV-infected people detected in the first eight months of 2023. These were mainly in the young age group of 16-29 years (accounting for 41.7 percent), especially workers in industrial parks and students. In particular, in some provinces, the figure accounts for up to 80 percent of the total number of detected HIV cases.
Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam a.i., stressed that in Viet Nam, women make up one-third of the number of HIV-infected people. Women living with HIV face many challenges, such as being discriminated against, having difficulty accessing treatment and employment.
Therefore, it is important to implement preventive measures, provide adequate services for people living with HIV/AIDS, and fully recognize the challenges facing women to better protect them.
She emphasized the need to boost cooperation and partnerships between different networks and regions, and expand the engagement of the private sector to solve the challenges that women with HIV/AIDS are facing.
She also appreciated Viet Nam's issuance of the National Strategy on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 to address challenges related to HIV/AIDS.
There are currently 534 HIV/AIDS treatment establishments nationwide. This includes 506 supplying the antiretroviral (ARV) therapy covered by health insurance. As of September 14, there were 177,009 patients receiving ARV therapy, including 2,748 children and 174,261 adults, statistics show.
Efforts are being made to expand this therapy under the health insurance coverage and raise the rate of patients on ARV therapy achieving viral suppression to at least 95 percent.
Among the 249,000 people living with HIV in Viet Nam at present, 88 percent know their status, 80 percent of those who know their status are on ARV therapy, and 98.4 percent of those on ARV therapy have achieved viral suppression./.