Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked cities and localities to add activities to fight AIDS, drugs and prostitution into their annual social economic development programmes.

Speaking at a meeting in Hanoi on Nov. 1 to review implementation of action plans in 2011 and define key tasks for 2012, Deputy PM Phuc, who is also Chairman of the National Committee Against AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, said the fight is important as it draws significant attention from the Party and the State.

He urged the ministries of public health, public security, national defence, and labour, invalids and social affairs to boost measures to prevent these social vices.

"Many strategies and action plans have been established. Methods to implement them effectively will be the key responsibility of all committee members," he said.

He asked each institution to conduct solid analyses and determine realistic statistics to develop better prevention and fighting measures.

"The main problem is stability during the implementation process. Drug addiction and prostitution always have implicit threats," Phuc said.

Ministry of Public Security statistics show that as of June, there were nearly 150,000 drug addicts in the country, an increase of 6,700 over the same period last year. The number of amphetamine and amphetamine-like drug users is increasing in big cities, especially in karaoke bars and discotheques in Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Da Nang, HCM City and Nghe An.

As of October, more than 12,800 drug-related crimes including 22,500 individuals had been reported this year.

As of September, more than 193,300 people were living with HIV, including 47,000 AIDS patients. Male HIV-carriers accounted for 69 percent of the cases. HIV transmission through drug injections and sex accounted for 48.5 percent and 39.9 percent respectively. Under an anti-HIV transmission programme, 21.5 million needles and syringes and more than 20 million condoms have been distributed to high risk individuals.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, nearly 2,500 prostitutes have received rehabilitation nationwide during the last nine months.

The ministry is also running detox programmes for 40,000 drug addicts at centres and in the community./.