Vietnam’s large scale up of HIV services is helping to combat the country’s HIV epidemic, the US Embassy said in a press release on February 26.

The press release quoted results of a new study entitled “Outcomes of Antiretroviral Therapy in Vietnam: Results from a National Evaluation”, which evaluated the outcome of antiretroviral treatment on 6,875 patients from 2005 to 2010.

S upported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ( PEP FAR) through the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the research focused on Vietnam’s HIV-infected population, including most-at-risk groups, particularly injecting drug users - the key drivers of the HIV epidemic in Vietnam.

The study was recently published on the online journal Plos One.

“The study shows generally good responses to antiretroviral therapy and high retention rates among those on treatment,” said Dr. Michelle McConnell, CDC Vietnam’s Country Director.

The therapy also helps the people infected with HIV lead healthy and productive lives as well as contributes to the virus prevention’s effectiveness.

The result reflects the robust partnership between the US and Vietnam and the strong commitment of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health in implementing a national HIV program, she added.

Dr. Do Thi Nhan, Head of the Care and Treatment Department at the Vietnam Administration of AIDS Control appreciated the usefulness of the findings for developing a better programme in the future.

Since 2005, the United States has worked with Vietnam to help significantly expand its national antiretroviral therapy programme to ensure those infected with HIV are linked to lifesaving care and treatment services.-VNA