The number of people aged 30-39 catching HIV strongly tended upwards over the past five years, said the HIV/AIDS prevention department under the Health Ministry at a seminar on Dec. 24.

This age group accounted for 43 percent of the total new HIV infections in the reviewed time, the department reported at the seminar co-organised by the department and the Vietnam Journalist Association, aimed at sharing information with the media about results of the World Bank-sponsored HIV/AIDS prevention project in Vietnam for the 2006-2012 period.

In addition, the number of women infected with the virus is also on the rise, from 19.1 percent of the total infections in 2005 to 31.4 percent this year, the department added.

The two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City , and the mountainous provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa continued to see high infections.

The department forecast that the HIV-infected rate in Vietnam will be around 0.29 percent of the population by 2015, and the number of people in need of ARV treatment will be more than 140,000.

The HIV/AIDS prevention project, funded by the WB and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), has been implemented since 2005 in 32 cities and provinces. The project provides suitable intervention measures to high-risk groups such as drug users, prostitutes and gays, while launching activities aimed at changing community awareness about HIV/AIDS.-VNA