Relevant agencies in Vietnam should encourage people to take suitable precautionary HIV/AIDS prevention measures.

The recommendation was made by the 2008 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, Prof. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who made great contributions to detecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1983, at a seminar on HIV/AIDS in Hanoi on November 27. She endorsed regular health check-ups and early HIV testing as ways to identify and treat the disease in a timely manner, as well as protect others.

As a coordinator of the action programme of the French National Agency for HIV/AIDS Research in Southeast Asia (ANRS), Sinoussi acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment as well as in helping people living with HIV reintegrate into the community.

She, however, said the fact that people still hesitate to have their blood tested for early detecting HIV/AIDS infection will hinder the country’s ability to prevent the disease.

At present, many scientific advancements are being applied to treat AIDS patients. However, if prevention efforts are not given due attention, the disease will re-emerge strongly, even in rich countries, she said.

For her efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention research activities in Vietnam , the French scientist was awarded the Medal for Public Health by the Vietnamese State in March 2009.

Since its first recorded case in 1990, Vietnam has seen more than 156,800 HIV/AIDS-infections, resulting in over 44,200 deaths./.