U.S. To Increase Vietnam’s PEPFAR Funding to $34M in 2006
The U.S. will increase its President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief grant to Vietnam from $25 million this year to $34 million in 2006, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Marine said, the Vietnam News Agency reports. The funds will help provide antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV/AIDS in the country and support a PEPFAR emergency pilot project that aims to curb mother-to-child HIV transmission. Vietnam is the only Asian country included in PEPFAR, which directs funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programs in 15 focus nations (Vietnam News Agency, 8/5). In related news, German generic drug maker STADA has begun distributing a low-cost version of GlaxoSmithKline's antiretroviral Combivir in Vietnam. According to Le Truong Giang from the Ho Chi Minh City HIV/AIDS Prevention Committee, Vietnam is not able to provide antiretorvirals at no cost to HIV-positive people in the country because of limited resources. However, he added that the country's medical sector will make efforts to ensure that people living with the disease can access treatment (Vietnam News Brief Service, 8/5). As of July, 97,300 HIV-positive people were living in Vietnam, and almost 9,100 people had died from AIDS-related causes, according to the General Statistics Office. By 2010, more than 350,000 HIV-positive people are expected to reside in the country and 104,700 people are expected to die from AIDS-related illnesses (Vietnam News Agency, 8/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.