The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) on September 15 launched a project to improve treatment for drug addicts in support of HIV/AIDS prevention, funded by the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Deputy Head of the Social Evils Prevention Department Do Thi Ninh Xuan, the director of the project said that the 2.5 million UDS project will be implemented from January 2011 to September 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City and the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

According to Xuan, the project’s long-term objective is to strengthen MoLISA capacity in drug addiction treatment and provide social support services through effective approaching methods in order to minimise drug users, improve the quality of life and reduce HIV infection among drug users and prostitutes in Vietnam .

The project will put in place a data collection and management system on drug addicts, prostitutes and addicted prostitutes and improve staff capacity in analysing and utilising the data.

Pilot models on community-based drug addiction treatment will be implemented, providing services for about 500 patients.

Vietnam now has close to 150,000 registered addicts and the figure is added by 10,000 each year. By March 2010, the country reported nearly 210,000 HIV-infected people with 41.6 percent being drug addicts./.