HIV/AIDS prevention should be attached to community development, hunger alleviation and poverty reduction, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

Making the remark at a workshop to strengthen social organisations’ participation in the implementation of the national strategy on HIV/AIDS prevention with an aim to make recommendations to policies and laws on the work in Hanoi on September 24, Phuc, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control, further said Vietnam has made progress in the effort.

The Government built the national strategy on HIV/AIDS prevention for the 2003-2010 period with a vision to 2020 and the HIV/AIDS prevention and control strategy until 2020 with a vision to 2030 with the participation of social organisations, including those of the HIV carriers, he said.

The official noted that Vietnam has kept the HIV/AIDS transmission rate in the community to under 0.3 percent and reduced new cases in three consecutive years while effectively implementing a programme on providing methadone to drug addicts.

He also commended social organisations’ achievements in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, saying he hopes that these organisations would continue to contribute to the implementation of the task.

According to Phuc, the country is also facing challenges because the epidemic tends to spread to low-risk groups. There is a high demand for resources for HIV/AIDS prevention task, but external aids are declining, he added.

That is why social organisations, including the community-based ones, should strengthen their roles in changing community’s awareness and behaviour and providing prevention, care and treatment services, he said.

UNAIDS Country Coordinator Kristan Schoultz warned that the number of HIV cases among homosexual groups in Vietnam continues to increase, while the rate among injecting drug users in big cities and mountainous regions remains high.

She proposed the Government, social organisations, non-governmental organisations and community groups ensure the policy transparency to facilitate support services now that international aids, which accounts for 70 percent of the total spending on HIV prevention in Vietnam, are being cut down.

Vietnam has detected 213,413 HIV cases who are still alive, of whom 63,373 have developed AIDS. As many as 65,133 accumulative deaths have been reported so far.

In the first five months of this year, on average 29 new cases were found daily nationwide.-VNA