Communication campaign on HIV prevention launched in Ba Ria-Vung Tau hinh anh 1At the launch event (Photo: VNA)
Ba Ria-Vung Tau (VNA) – A national campaign aiming to raise public awareness of HIV/AIDS as a communicable disease which could be prevented and controlled was launched in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on December 19.

The Undetectable=Untransmittable (or K=K in Vietnamese) event was jointly organised by the management board of the VAAC-US.CDC project, a collaboration between the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fight HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, and the Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s centre for HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

Addressing the event, US Acting Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Timothy Liston affirmed that the “Undetectable=Untransmittable” concept is a significant scientific discovery which means that when levels of HIV virus in the blood of patients under Antiretrovaral (ARV) treatment are undetectable, the risk of HIV transmission via sexual activities remains very low or negligible.

Therefore, the campaign affirms the benefit of ARV treatment for HIV patients, he added.

The “Undetectable=Untransmittable” message is hoped to eradicate discrimination against people living with the virus and encourage them to stick with the treatment.

However, the finding is only applicable for the prevention of transmission through sexual activities, not for sharing injection equipment.

According to Deputy Director of the provincial Health Department Nguyen Van Thai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau records 4,596 people with HIV, with about 2,730 still alive. In 2019 alone, the province saw 198 new HIV infections.

Currently, 83.9 percent of people with HIV in the province are aware of their status while 74.4 percent are under ARV treatment, he noted.

Data show that since the first HIV case was reported in Vietnam in December 1990, there have been 215,661 people living with this virus and 103,616 deaths from HIV/AIDS.

In the first nine months of this year, 7,779 people became newly infected with HIV, 2,984 entered the AIDS phase, and 1,428 died from relevant illnesses in Vietnam./.