Doctor gives consultation to HIV/AIDS patient (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – An HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) integrated treatment model has continued to be piloted at district and communal clinic centres in 18 provinces with high and medium rate of HIV this year, according to the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) under the Ministry of Health.

VAAC Deputy Director General Bui Duc Duong said that TB is the most common opportunistic infection associated with HIV and a leading cause of death among people with HIV. Persons infected with HIV are 19 times more likely to develop TB than those without HIV.

HIV-infected people also face the emerging threat of drug-resistant TB. In 2015, some 390,000 people died of HIV-associated TB in the world, accounting for 25 percent of global HIV deaths. There are an estimated 5,500 HIV-associated TB cases in Vietnam, Duong added.

HIV/AIDS and TB services are being provided separately at numerous district clinic centres, inconveniencing patients.

The integrated model has been introduced at district and communal clinics to enhance management and provide comprehensive service for HIV- associated TB patients, he said.

The model was piloted in Nho Quan district in Ninh Binh province and Hung Ha district in Thai Binh province during 2013-2015. It was enlarged to other 12 provinces in 2015-2016.

According to the Vietnam National Hospital of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, after two years of the model, the rate of detection of TB for HIV patients increased while rate of HIV-associated TB patients receiving treatment also rose.

In addition, people with TB received consultations and HIV tests at the integration clinics and those with HIV were treated at the same centre.

The integration model also helps reduce costs at local clinics and enhances quality of diagnosis and treatment.-VNA