The health sector in the northern province Bac Giang has implemented a number of HIV/AIDS prevention and control measures, with a particular focus on interventions for high-risk groups.

The intervention programme has been carried out in the locality since 2006, focusing on providing disposable needles and condoms, as well as counselling and testing services for groups vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in 70 communes, wards and towns that are affected by drug abuse, prostitution and HIV/AIDS.

According to Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Director of Bac Giang’s centre for HIV/AIDS prevention and control, the province also established methadone therapy centres for drug users, as well as running a variety of communication campaigns.

Additionally, the locality operates two centres that provide counselling and HIV tests, benefitting around 50-70 people every month.

In addition, the provincial health sector provides anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV/AIDS patients and runs programmes to provent the transmission of HIV from mother to child by providing advice and HIV tests to over 80,000 women of childbearing age and more than 15,000 pregnant women.

Lan said the locality’s efforts helped reduce the rate of HIV infection in drug users from 19.3 percent in 2007 to only 8 percent in 2013.

To improve the effectiveness of treatment, the province also provided social services, such as general healthcare services, advice and job opportunities to help patients lead a normal life.

2,744 HIV patients were recorded in Bac Giang, of which 1,072 have died in the meantime.

In future, local authorities will focus on improving the quality of intervention services provided to people vulnerable to HIV infection, especially those in prisons and detention centres.-VNA