Groups in Vietnam Using Performing Arts To Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness, Provide Support to People Living With Disease
Some groups in Vietnam are using art -- including traditional opera and dance, comedy and magic arts -- to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and provide support to people living with the disease in the country, Reuters UK reports. According to Reuters UK, several groups recently met in Nha Trang to mark the more than two years since an initiative -- called the HIV/AIDS Art-Based Communication, Care and Support Program for PLWHA, or people living with HIV/AIDS -- began operations nationwide. Performers say they use modern dance and popular songs to describe how needle sharing can spread HIV and other bloodborne diseases and to help reduce stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. The program -- managed by the Center for Community Health and Development, a nongovernmental organization based in Hanoi, Vietnam -- also includes sewing, beading, drawing, writing and painting programs.
The United Nations estimates that there are about 300,000 people living with HIV in Vietnam. Most of the cases occur among injection drug users and commercial sex workers, but the epidemic is beginning to spread to the general population, Reuters UK reports (McCool, Reuters UK, 7/3).