Hanoi has committed to raising the quality of treatment for HIV carriers as well as expanding 18 medical facilities specialising in anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment in a move to contain and roll back the spread of the disease.

As of September 30, Hanoi recorded nearly 24,600 people living with HIV. The virus has led to the death of a confirmed 3,808 people in the city.

Notably, 67.37 percent of the HIV-infected people are drug users while prostitutes make up 1.63 percent of the total number of the carriers in the locality.

The city has also started a programme on managing HIV/AIDS patients at 10 medical examination centres in charge of providing anti - HIV/AIDS drugs .

As many as 6,647 AIDS carriers are being cared for at the city’s medical facilities. Of this number, 5,650 people are under the ARV treatment.

In a bid to prevent the HIV infection among the drug users, a detoxification programme using methadone treatment for 1,494 has been implemented in the five districts of Tu Liem, Long Bien, Ha Dong, Hai Ba Trung and Dong Da, and Son Tay town.

All districts of the city have also offered free condoms and disposable syringes to people at high risk of catching HIV.

According to Director of the Hanoi HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Centre Le Nhan Tuan, the city’s anti-HIV/AIDS work will encounter large financial difficulties next year when the national budget for the work will be cut by 74 percent from last year and the city will cut its own funding by 50 percent.

Urgent financial assistance from international organisations to the city is needed to maintain the sustainability of the anti-HIV/AIDS work.-VNA