Vietnam Vice President Calls for ‘More Active’ HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Plan
Vietnam Vice President Truong My Hoa on Wednesday said that the country needs to "take a more active approach" in its HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention efforts, according to Vietnam News, Xinhua News Agency reports. She said that the "current breathtaking spread" of the disease has "damaged" the health of many citizens and affected the country's socio-economic growth. Truong called for the country's AIDS Standing Bureau and health ministry to offer "more effective" solutions to help establish a national AIDS prevention strategy by 2010. According to a Ministry of Health report, the number of new HIV cases in Vietnam in 2002 was almost 16,000, up 28% from 2001 (Xinhua News Agency, 2/19).
Vietnam Ministry of Health officials on Monday announced that the ministry would make Lamzidivir -- a combination of the antiretroviral drugs lamivudine and zidovudine -- available to local health centers at a low cost, Agence France-Presse reports. HIV-positive pregnant women and health care workers will receive the drug free of charge, but the drug will be available to others for $900 per year. The drugs will be produced by Vietnamese drug maker MST Trading. A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said it has been manufacturing Lamzidivir for an "unnamed" South Korean firm to export to South Africa, Agence France-Presse reports (Agence France-Presse, 2/18).