Nearly 1,000 people in Hanoi on November 30 attended a meeting to mark National Action Month For HIV/AIDS Prevention, the 2013 Global Campaign against AIDS Prevention and World AIDS Day (December 1).

Speaking at the event, Vice President of the Vietnam Red Cross (VNCR) Nguyen Huu Hong said that the VNCR has established anti-HIV/AIDS organisations and offered advice to over 10,000 victims and high-risk groups.

It will continue raising public awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission in localities via the media and training courses which will guide people how to protect themselves from the deadly disease, especially in four cities and provinces covered by the American Red Cross-funded project, he said.

Music performances relevant to the theme impressed audiences following the ceremony.
The same day, VNCR launched free HIV tests and major events to facilitate public involvement in combating the epidemic.

On the occasion of the 25 th World AIDS Day, the United Nations congratulated Vietnam on its fight against HIV/AIDS, calling for further practical action in order to fulfill national and global goals.

UNAIDS Country Director in Vietnam Kristan Schoultz urged the country to focus national resources on the right people in the right places, especially those at high risk of HIV infection with an expansion of the most effective HIV resistance programme.

Vietnam is seeking new approaches to offering treatment services to those in need so as to utilise domestic resources while global assistance is in decline.

The World Health Organisation also encouraged Vietnam to proceed with efforts to access highly-vulnerable groups and provide them with anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and support services.

Director of the World Labour Organisation in Vietnam Gyorgy Szirackzki said working environment plays an important role in ART. According to him, it is necessary to clear discrimination against HIV workers as some of them are afraid of revealing their disease.

By late 2012, over half of male injecting drug users were living with HIV while this rate among female sex workers was 2.7 percent. The rate of HIV infections among homosexuals is also on the rise.-VNA