Vietnam hopes to be among leading nations in HIV/AIDS combat hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam addresses the ceremony in Bac Giang province on December 1 (Photo: VNA)

Bac Giang (VNA) – A ceremony was held in the northern province of Bac Giang on December 1 in response to the National Action Month against HIV/AIDS and the World AIDS Day.

In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, said that to combat HIV/AIDS, it is necessary to have joint efforts by all-level authorities, a stable financial system, a system of timely diagnosis and treatment, and HIV carriers’ privacy ensured.

To achieve the 90 – 90 – 90 targets (90 percent of people living with HIV know their status; of whom 90 percent are under treatment; of whom 90 percent are virally suppressed) in 2020, Vietnam needs to have detailed plans and focus on prevention and treatment. Relevant agencies should step up communications and take measures to ensure HIV patients’ privacy and interests, he noted.

He expressed his hope that through actions, Vietnam will successfully realise its commitments to UN organisations and become one of the countries taking the lead in ending this pandemic.

Valuing Vietnam’s efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Eamonn Murphy, Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, said the country reduced the number of new HIV cases by 65 percent between 2010 and 2018. It is a highlight of the region in the application of new initiatives to offer more service options and facilitate the access to HIV prevention and control services.

According to UNAIDS, there are some 5,000 new HIV infections a day. Each year, about 1.7 million people become newly infected with HIV, and 770,000 die from AIDS-related illnesses.

Vietnam records nearly 10,000 new HIV cases and 2,000 – 3,000 AIDS-related deaths annually. 2019 is the 11th straight year the epidemic has been kept under control in the country, with decreases in the numbers of new infections, people entering the AIDS phase and AIDS-related deaths.

Vietnam has been effectively implementing prevention intervention, care, support and treatment services for people living with HIV. It is also one of the few countries that have had HIV/AIDS treatment, including antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, covered by health insurance./.