Vietnam Should Prioritize HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs, Deputy Prime Minister Says
Vietnamese local governments should prioritize HIV/AIDS prevention measures, particularly education and communication programs that target injection drug use among young people, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong said on Tuesday at a symposium on HIV prevention and drug detoxification in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
Trong -- who also serves as chair of a committee to combat and prevent HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and sex work -- encouraged the Ministry of Health to "upgrade" the prevention of HIV/AIDS to a national target. According to Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu, about 55% of HIV-positive injection drug users in Vietnam were found to have contracted the virus through needle sharing. According to the Vietnam News Agency, rates of HIV in Vietnam have declined during the last six-month period compared with the same period one year ago. Six times more men are diagnosed with HIV compared with women in Vietnam, and people between ages 20 and 39 account for 83.7% of those people with the virus, according to the Vietnam News Agency (Vietnam News Agency, 7/29).