Hanoi strives to finish 90-90-90 goal in HIV fight by 2020 hinh anh 1People taking medicine at a health care centre (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi has been conducting various HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities towards the 90-90-90 goal by 2020, officials said at a regular meeting between the municipal Party Committee with press agencies on November 13.

The 90-90-90 goal means 90 percent of all people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

According to Vice Director of the city Department of Health Hoang Duc Hanh, the capital city will strive to reduce the ratio of people living with HIV in the community to less than 0.3 percent, thus minimising HIV’s influence on the city’s socio-economic development.

A report from the department showed that people diagnosed with HIV live in all districts and towns across the city, with 577 out of 584 communes and wards reporting locals with HIV infections.

As of September 30, 2019, the city was home to 22,211 live HIV/AIDS patients.

In the first nine months of 2019, the number of newly-diagnosed cases was 1,238, up 54.8 percent over the same period last year.

The new cases were mostly males (76.9 percent)aged from 15-25. The number of people getting the virus through sexual activities continued to rise from 36.2 percent in 2014 to 65.6 percent in 2018 and 72.4 percent in September 2019.

Amidst the situation, within the city’s roadmap towards the 90-90-90 goal by 2020, the city People’s Committee has assigned specific criteria to each locality, while strengthening communication activitieson the benefit of HIV tests as well as the efficiency of anti-retroviral(ARV) therapy, and the elimination of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

In the future, the city plans to continue expanding HIV testing in the community as well as hospitals and mobile testing points, and broadening the coverage of ARV therapy coverage through health care insurance.

La Thi Lan, Vice Director of Hanoi Disease Control Centre, said that the city has offered rewards of up to 1.8 million VND (77.4 USD) to those who manage to persuade people living with HIV to receive ARV therapy.

Earlier this year, the city launched an Undetectable=Untransmittable or K=K (Khong phat hien=Khong lay truyen) campaign with a training course on communications work for the campaign.

The communications focused on helping healthcare staff understand the campaign to enable them to support HIV carriers in testing and treatment.

According to Paula Morgan, Deputy Director for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as studies have shown that people living with HIV in successful treatment with undetectable levels of virus cannot transmit HIV to their sex partners, stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV should be abolished.

She said people at high risk of HIV must get tested, and receive ARV therapy as soon as possible to prevent HIV transmission.

Associate Prof. Nguyen Hoang Long, head of the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control under the Health Ministry, said nearly 140,000 patients in Vietnam are undergoing ARV treatment, and the U=U campaign is hoped to expand the coverage of treatment.

Doctor Do Huu Thuy from the HIV/AIDS Prevention Department under the Ministry of Health said that as of December 31, 2018, an estimated 250,000 Vietnamese were living with HIV, most of whomhad contracted the disease due to sexual acts and were aged between 15 and 49.

Notably, HIV-positive cases among drug users are increasing, especially in the homosexual community, he added.

In Vietnam, only 80 percent of HIV people know their health status while some 70 percent of people diagnosed with HIV receive ARV treatment./.