Asian Development Bank President Kuroda Launches $20M Program Aimed at Reducing Spread of HIV/AIDS Among Youth in Vietnam
During a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda launched a $20 million program aimed at reducing the spread of HIV among young people in the country, AFP/Google.com reports (AFP/Google.com, 2/20).
Kuroda met with members of the Youth Advisory Group to discuss strategies to implement the program and the development of a national media campaign aimed at increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS (Trung, Saigon Times Daily, 2/21). Kuroda and the youth discussed informational Web sites about HIV/AIDS, concerts that highlight the disease, and upcoming radio and television programs that address the disease. A television drama series aimed at educating youth about HIV/AIDS is scheduled to air in June, according to Ken Swann of BBC World Service Trust who is helping organize the campaign (AFP/Google.com, 2/20).
According to the Times Daily, youth ages 15 to 24 account for 20% of Vietnam's population but 40% of all new HIV cases in the country. Kuroda emphasized that Vietnamese youth should increase their involvement in HIV prevention efforts to slow the spread of the virus among the population. Kuroda said prevention efforts should "actively engage [youth] in dialogue so they're better armed with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to protect themselves" from HIV. He added that programs that work "directly with young people to understand their lives and what makes them vulnerable to risky behaviors will help us make progress" in reducing the spread of HIV among youth.
Kuroda also met the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday to discuss efforts to reduce poverty, increase infrastructure and bolster human resource development in the country (Saigon Times Daily, 2/21).
Nearly 300,000 people in Vietnam are living with HIV/AIDS, according to AFP/Google.com. Injection drug users, commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men comprise the largest number of HIV-positive people, although the virus is spreading to the general population, AFP/Google.com reports (AFP/Google.com, 2/20).