Legislators discuss access to information about HIV/AIDS patients hinh anh 1Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long presents the proposal for the draft law (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Most National Assembly (NA) deputies agreed on the need to issue a law amending and supplementing a number of articles in the Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, on the fourth day of the legislature’s 10th sitting, on October 23.

Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long presented the proposal for the draft law.

He said the rate of HIV infections in Vietnam has fallen continuously over the last 12 years and now stands at less than 0.3 percent.

The amendments and supplements aim to create a legal corridor in order to complete the target of basically wiping out the disease by 2030, Long stressed, as set out in Resolution No 20-NQ/TW from the 12th Party Central Committee.

Deputies then heard a report assessing the draft law, presented by Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs.

They shared the view that the amendments and supplements would help intensify the protection of and improvements to public health in the new era, while dealing with limitations in the existing law.

Many said that certain regulations of the Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control are no longer suitable for the current situation and clash with other laws, resulting in inconsistency in treatment.

Many others suggested adding regulations on those allowed to access information on HIV/AIDS patients in order to protect the interests of the carriers in treatment, payment, and disease prevention.

Pham Van Hoa, a deputy from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, further explained that information access is crucial to preventing transmission from patients to their relatives or caregivers.

At the same time, information must be kept secret so that patients can live happily and healthily, he said.

Deputy Trieu Thanh Dung from the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang said the wishes of HIV/AIDS patients should be of the greatest concern during treatment.

Legislators also discussed free HIV testing for pregnant women and new mothers, and the operation of the HIV/AIDS treatment fund.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Hoang Thi Hoa, Vice Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents, and Children, said the amendments and supplements need to enable HIV/AIDS-infected people to prevent transmission while ensuring their democracy and equality.

Nguyen Lan Hieu, a deputy from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, suggested that Vietnam seek domestic resources for public health, given the falling donations from international organisations./.