Health care staff gives check-ups to HIV/AIDS patients in Vinh Phuc Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
 
Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – The National Action Month against HIV/AIDS 2018 was launched at a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1 with the participation of Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and nearly 2,000 representatives of students, armed forces and mass organizations.

Calling for actions from all the people against HIV/AIDS, the minister said that Vietnam has reaped impressive achievements in the work over the past years, yet the country is still facing many serious challenges like the increasing number of new cases in the high-risk group, inadequate attention to the prevention work, the difficulties in the shift of the treatment to the health insurance, and the lingering discrimination against HIV carriers.

The minister called on leaders of localities, social organizations, the health sector and all the people to act more strongly so every people can access prevention services in an early and sustainable manner.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s efforts, Director of the UNAIDS Vietnam Marie-Odile Emond noted that so far this year, the country has successfully realized many new ideas for the people to have more choices and easier approaches to prevention services. It will be a historical turning point when Vietnam starts to provide treatment services covered by the health insurance, she stressed.

Statistics by the health ministry reveal that currently Vietnam counts about 208,000 HIV carriers, each year the country has over 8,000 new carriers detected and from 3,000 – 4,000 people die of AIDS. At least 50,000 people having HIV are living in the community without knowing they are carrying the virus.-VNA