Vietnam is considered a role model in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia , with the lowest rate of HIV infections, a senior official has said.

The health sector has reduced the numbers of new HIV infections, HIV-to-AIDS transitions, and AIDS fatalities, Prof. Pham Manh Hung, Chairman of the Vietnam Medical Association, said at a national scientific conference on infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on September 12.

The implementation of effective policies and the national HIV/AIDS prevention programme have made modern treatment options and anti-retroviral (ARV) medication widely available.

In the near future, research on HIV/AIDS will focus on the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, sexually-transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, and the basic science of HIV/AIDS; HIV preventative measures; medical care and treatment; and funding.

The Chairman of the Vietnam Society of Infectious Diseases (VSID), Associate Professor Nguyen Van Kinh, said newly-emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are on the rise, such as the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa that has claimed over 2,000 lives so far, approximately half of the total number of infected patients.

The Middle Eastern Coronavirus is another fatal infectious disease, with severe respiratory symptoms that culminate in death for 60 percent of patients.

Vietnam is seeing the return of Measles, Japanese Encephalitis, and Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease, he said, adding that VSID is preparing for potential outbreaks, including isolation and quarantine facilities, as well as keeping up-to-date with scientific findings and studies.

Nearly 170 scientific papers were submitted to the conference, which drew 800 national and international delegates.-VNA