Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan presented the Friendship Order, a noble reward of the Vietnamese State , to France ’s Prof. Dr. Francoise Barre Sinoussi in Hanoi on April 29.

The French professor received the award for her effective contributions to the HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme in Vietnam and boosting cooperation between the two countries in the health care sector.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Deputy PM Nhan highly valued the active and effective assistance of Prof. Francoise Barre Sinoussi, the AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Research (ANRS) and the Pasteur Institute in Paris for HIV/AIDS prevention in Vietnam over the past 20 years.

As one of the first in the world to detect the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Sinoussi came to Vietnam to improve HIV diagnosis capacity for Vietnamese health workers and help the country build a HIV test laboratory where the first HIV patient in Vietnam was diagnosed in December, 1990.

In addition to providing on-the-spot training and technological transfer for health officers and equipment for health facilities in Vietnam , the professor organised training courses for Vietnamese scientists in France .

As a world-acclaimed scientist who received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine, she helped Vietnamese officers implement research programmes on physiology, clinical and sociological research.

Deputy PM Nhan affirmed the Vietnamese government’s efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, saying that the HIV/AIDS epidemic shows signs of standstill in Vietnam with the rate of HIV infections among the population dropping to below 0.3 percent in 2010.

He suggested Prof. Francoise Barre Sinoussi, the ANRS and the Pasteur Institute in Paris continue support for Vietnam in the HIV/AIDS fight and pledged together with the international community to successfully implement the Millennium Development Goal on limiting and gradually putting an end to HIV/AIDS infections in 2015./.