The Health Department of Hanoi this year will focus on intensifying education and publicity work in a bid to raise the community’s awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Director of the Hanoi HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Centre Le Nhan Tuan said that the organisation will strive to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment for 70 percent of HIV carriers and reduce the number of infants contracting the virus from their mothers. It will also run more publicity campaigns raising awareness of how to prevent the infection from spreading.

According to the centre’s statistics, as of late 2013, Hanoi recorded nearly 24,800 people living with HIV. The virus has led to the death of a confirmed 3,836 people in the city.

The number of newly-detected cases in 2013 reduced 7.9 percent against the previous year’s figure. This was the third consecutive year the city recorded a decrease in newly-diagnosed patients.

Meanwhile, the rate of women living with HIV rose to 27.9 percent in 2013 from 22 percent out of the city’s total patients in 2008.

In a move to contain the spread of the disease, Hanoi has committed to raising the quality of treatment for HIV carriers as well as expanding 18 medical facilities specialising in ARV treatment.-VNA