The antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV/AIDS patients has been a focused investment in numerous countries thanks to its efficiency.

Statistics showed that in 2010, Thailand provided ARV treatment for 70 percent of over 350,000 patients with HIV. A year later, the country allocated 330 million USD from its State budget for HIV/AIDS prevention and control, 73 percent of which was spent on ARV medication.

Meanwhile, in 2012, Malaysia enabled 38.5 percent of 80,000 HIV carriers to have access to ARV treatment, which cost 20.4 million USD, mainly sourced from its State budget. Since 2011, assistance from the Global Fund accounted for less than five percent of the country’s treatment costs.

Indonesia, whose average per capita income falls below 1,000 USD, much lower than that of Vietnam, has provided free check-ups and treatment for HIV carriers. Since 2005, the country has offered free services through increasing allocations from the state budget to meet the demand.

In Vietnam, in 2010-2014, the cost for HIV/AIDS prevention and control was financed mainly by international donors, with the biggest ones being the Global Fund and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The State budget accounted for about five percent of the total sum.

However, donor funding has been transitioning to other areas in the region, leaving substantial gaps in intervention programming resources. For 2015, government funded resources have been raised to 85 billion VND (4 million USD), but it remains insufficient to cover the gap left by international funding departures.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the use of ARV therapy, particularly in the early stage of the disease, can lead to substantial reductions in the rates of death and suffering.

ARV treatment has also been proven to reduce the rate of new infections to below 2-4 percent while easing the financial burden for families with HIV/AIDS patients.

Since 2013, the WHO has recommended the treatment for preventing HIV infection, particularly for pregnant women, young children, and at-risk populations exposed to HIV.

As of September, 2014, Vietnam had 220,000 HIV cases and nearly 70,000 fatalities.-VNA