HIV/AIDS community seeks support from businesses hinh anh 1Lo Van Tan from Dien Bien has lived with HIV for 13 years. He has been treated with ARV. His wife and kid has not been infected. (Source: VNA)

Community-based organisations working with HIV/AIDS patients have sought support from local enterprises as funds from international aid for HIV/AIDS prevention will continue to fall since Vietnam is no longer ranked a low-income country by the UN.

Business support is needed for living skills courses for HIV/AIDS patients, according to Nguyen Cong Tuan Anh, of Song That Voi Chinh Minh, which provides counselling to HIV/AIDS workers.

Anh said that skills courses were especially needed for MSM (men who have sex with men), female migrant sex workers, abused children and women, and users of injected drugs.

Le Thanh Phuong, head of TheBoy community-based organisation (CBO), said his group needed funds to develop an app called TurnOn for Safe Sex.

The app would provide information on free health exams and HIV counselling, as well as a delivery service for condoms for sale.

He said TheBoy CBO would donate part of its profits from the sale of condoms to HIV-AIDS CBOs that no longer received international aid.

Vo Quang Phuc, sales supervisor for Rang Dong Corp, which specialises in condoms and similar products, said that it would offer discounts to community-based HIV/AIDS prevention groups.

Representatives of other enterprises said they would provide financial assistance and advice as well.

The representatives, however, said they needed to learn more about what the operations and abilities of the CBOs.

Do Huu Thuy, head of the central department for HIV/AIDS Prevention's communication division, said the CBOs' network of people with HIV/AIDS could become a delivery system for enterprises in the field.

The CBO could also provide healthcare and HIV counselling services for company employees.

Cooperation with local enterprises would help CBOs "stand on their own two feet" and maintain their HIV/AIDS prevention activities, he said.

The number of people with HIV in Vietnam is nearly 300,000.-VNA