Nearly 30,000 Vietnamese and Lao people have been benefited both directly and indirectly through a project for HIV/AIDS prevention and VCT (Voluntary Testing and Counseling) facilities among ethnic minorities farming communities residing along route 9 in Quang Tri province of Vietnam and Laos’ Savanakhet province.

The figure was announced at a final workshop to review the project funded by the French Development Agency and the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights.

The project, which was carried out from August 2008 to June 2012, has come to 16 villages in Dakrong and Huong Hoa districts of Quang Tri province and eight villages in Sepon district of Savanakhet province.

Over the past four years, the project helped ethnic minorities in the two countries aged from 12-49 access to HIV prevention, testing and caring services while reducing the risk of transmission in the community.

Under the project, 28 packages of loans worth 280 million VND have been offered to 86 percent of the beneficiaries.

The project also established a club for HIV/AIDS-infected people with a wide range of useful activities.

The workshop was coorganised by the Quang Tri HIV/AIDS Prevention Centre and the Handicap International, a non-governmental organisation with the mandate to prevent and limit the impact of disabilities.-VNA