A national action month for HIV/AIDS prevention in 2011 was launched in the northern province of Nam Dinh on Nov. 6.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that over the past 20 years, Vietnam has gained many successes in HIV/AIDS prevention, including lessons on how to cope with the disease and take control over it.

He asked local authorities to continue creating favourable conditions for people to take part in activities to prevent and fight against HIV/AIDS so that no new HIV-infected cases will be reported.

Phuc, who is also Chairman of the National Committee Against AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, called on all local leaders and residents to continue raising awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention.

State officials and cadres should be pioneers in the HIV/AIDS prevention campaign, with all families and social organisations taking care to support HIV infected people and reduce discrimination against patients, he said.

He also called on international and non-Government organisations to join Vietnamese people in taking more drastic measures against HIV/AIDS.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the national action month against HIV/AIDS aims to draw attention and increase community responsibilities.

The programme is expected to raise awareness of the most vulnerable people living in remote and disadvantaged areas, as well as focus more attention on ethnic minority people, she said.

In 2010, Vietnam curbed the rate of HIV infections to 0.26 percent of the population, lower than the target of 0.3 percent set in the National Strategy of HIV/AIDS prevention. With this success, Vietnam became the country with the lowest rate of HIV infections in the region, Tien said.

The programme, co-organised by the National Committee Against AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution and the provincial People's Committee, will start on November 10. /.