The Ministry of Health launched Vietnam’s efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 in response to UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 goals at a ceremony in Hanoi on October 25.

At the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam stressed that Vietnam, as the first country in Asia-Pacific to respond to the UNAIDS’ call, will undertake maximum efforts to achieve the goals.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) launched the goals this July, under which by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV are to be aware of their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection are to receive sustained antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral treatment will have viral suppression. Hence HIV/AIDS would be eliminated by 2030.

Meanwhile, UN Under-Secretary-General Michel Sidibe spoke highly of Vietnam ’s achievements in HIV/AIDS prevention, saying that this is why the organisation chose Vietnam as the first country in Asia-Pacific to implement its new plans to control HIV/AIDS epidemic.

For the past five years, Vietnam has seen a significant decline in the number of new HIV infections, from 30,000 in 2007 to 12,000 in 2013, while the numbers of AIDS patients and fatalities have also reduced by half.

According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam currently has around 260,000 HIV-infected patients and just more than half of them know about their HIV positive status.

By June 2014, as many as 86,771 patients of all ages were under antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, accounting for 32 percent of the infected number, far from the UN’s goal.-VNA