A pilot model to raise awareness of the fight against HIV/AIDS and discrimination in ethnic minority-inhabited areas was launched in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on July 31.

The move came as the number of those living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is growing, especially in ethnic minority regions. Ha Giang has so far recorded some 1,700 HIV cases, with 800 developed into the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and over 300 AIDS-related deaths.

The model, running between now and late 2015 in Sa Phin commune, Dong Van district, is to curb the rate of HIV infections to below 0.3 percent by 2020, towards the goal of three zeros in new HIV cases, AIDS deaths and discrimination.

It will engage local authorities, trade unions and community members, who will be equipped with knowledge and skills needed to protect themselves against the deadly virus.

The project is also underway in the Mekong delta province of An Giang on an experimental basis, said Director of the Central Health Communication & Education Centre Dang Quoc Viet.-VNA