Vietnam HIV Rate Experiences Its ‘Fastest’ Increase in Past Two Years
The number of HIV cases reported in Vietnam in the past two years account for 60% of the country's total cases, marking the "fastest" rate increase ever, the Saigon Times Daily reports. HCMC Health Service Deputy Director Le Truong Giang on Thursday announced the agency's findings at a Saigon conference on the country's 1999 and 2000 HIV prevention activities. Giang said that the virus has moved out of the cities into rural areas, adding that most of the newly infected are "drug addicts, prostitutes and young people." He said that late last year, people under 30 years old accounted for 82% of the country's 7,500 reported HIV cases, compared to 29% in 1997 and 26.2% in 1995. In addition, young drug users made up 65% of the HIV cases reported in Saigon, compared to 40% in 1999 and 18.2% in 1998. The HCMC AIDS Prevention Committee said that an increase in drug use among youths and unsafe sex were the main causes of the virus' spread in the country. Giang added that about 20 international organizations have worked with the city to implement more than 20 HIV prevention projects (Minh, Saigon Times Daily, 3/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.