Discrimination increases HIV risk among MSM, transgender hinh anh 1Attendees at the workshop MSM and transgender citizens in Hanoi on March 25. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Discrimination against men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women can affect their ability to get health services and increase the risk of HIV infection.

The concern was shared at a workshop on MSM and transgender citizens held by the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) in Hanoi on March 25.

Speaking at the event, VAAC deputy chief Hoang Dinh Canh said MSM and transgender people are minorities who are vulnerable to negative public opinion. The workshop was held to discuss the risks of contracting HIV for these people and HIV/AIDS prevention measures.

It was recently reported that MSMs are 19 times more likely to contract HIV than the general population, while transgender women are 49 times more likely to become infected.

Despite being among the main focuses of the global HIV/AIDS control campaign, these people have not received as much support as other groups.

People have increasingly given voice to the rights of these sexual minorities. But there is still much to be done.

Reports at the workshop also stressed that it is crucial to understand the distinctive needs and vulnerability of these people. This could help promote more suitable HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes to reach all high-risk people.-VNA