A doctor gives advice on ARV therapy to an HIV carrier (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Only more than a half of HIV carriers hold health insurance cards, said the Health Ministry’s Department for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control.

According to the department, many of HIV carriers do not buy health insurance due to their fear of discriminations and waiting for being checked up, while others can not afford insurance fees or meet sufficient requirements to own a health insurance card.

As of May, 82 percent of HIV treatment clinics at hospitals and two-function medical centres signed contracts with health insurance agencies. Of the total, 44.4 percent are providing services through health insurance.

At present, nine provinces sign contracts on examination and treatment payments for HIV patients with insurance agencies.

The department stressed that to increase health insurance coverage among HIV carriers, the Prime Minister directed provincial and municipal People’s Committees to allocate budgets to ensure all people living with HIV have health insurance cards.

The department is also reviewing the demand for insurance cards of several disadvantaged localities in order to use international aid to support them.

As international donors are phasing out assistance for HIV/AIDS control in Vietnam, patients have to pay for health checks, regular tests and antiretroviral (ARV) treatment next year if they do not have health insurance cards.

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The Vietnamese Government targets bringing 100 percent of people with HIV into the health insurance net by 2020.

It targets the 90-90-90 goal by 2020, which refers to 90 percent of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV getting sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of all people receiving the therapy having viral suppression.

According to the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, more than 205,000 people are living with HIV across the country.-VNA