Hanoi: Various activities held during HIV/AIDS prevention month hinh anh 1A medical worker at the General Hospital of Ha Dong district, Hanoi, gives advice to a pregnant women (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Various activities are underway in Hanoi to promote early HIV testing so as to achieve the 90 – 90 – 90 targets by 2020, also the theme of this year’s action month for HIV/AIDS prevention and control from November 10 to December 10.

Deputy Director of the municipal Preventive Medicine Centre La Thi Lan said during the month, Hanoi will hold conferences and workshops on community-based HIV testing and assess the implementation of the 90 – 90 – 90 targets. 

These targets aim that by 2020, 90 percent of all people with HIV know their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

Different activities to help prevent HIV/AIDS and raise public awareness have been implemented across 30 districts and townships in Hanoi. They include the distribution of more than 1.7 million free syringes and more than 260,000 free condoms to female sex workers and gay men.

[Infographics: Rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission falls to 3.6 percent]

Since the beginning of 2017, the local health sector has worked with non-Governmental organisations to expand HIV screening at the communal and ward level. There are 14 advisory offices on voluntary HIV testing at the district level currently.

Lan said the municipal Department of Health will run communication activities to raise public awareness, focusing on eradicating HIV stigma and discrimination, the benefits of early HIV testing and periodic testing for high-risk groups, and the benefits of antiretroviral therapy and early access to HIV/AIDS treatment services.

Eighteen establishments providing methadone treatment for HIV patients have worked effectively in Hanoi. As of the end of September, about 4,800 persons with HIV had received methadone treatment in the capital, Lan noted, adding that methadone replacement therapy has resulted in positive outcomes, helping improve drug abusers’ health and reduce the use of heroin.

Hanoi recorded 982 new HIV cases in the first nine months of 2017. The Asian Epidemic Model forecasts the number of HIV-infected people in the city to exceed 27,000 by 2020.-VNA