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HIV Rising Among Men Having Sex With Men in Vietnam

May 19, 2014

This article was reported by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that HIV prevalence in Vietnam is increasing among men who have sex with men (MSM). Social stigma has forced the Vietnam MSM community to operate mainly underground, which makes it difficult for advocacy services to reach. Government efforts to curb HIV in this small Asian country have focused more on female sex workers and injecting drug users, contributing to the rising HIV incidence among MSM.

According to the 2012 Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance (IBBS) survey, between 2006 and 2009, MSM HIV cases nearly doubled in Hanoi and more than doubled in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's two largest cities. "Out of all of Vietnam's sub-epidemics, the epidemic among MSM appears to be rising the fastest," said Christopher Fontaine, an adviser for the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Vietnam.

HIV-positive MSM face the double stigma of being gay and having HIV, which drive many MSM to not disclose their HIV status, often fearing being disowned by their traditional Vietnamese parents. "New infections are increasing for MSM but there are a limited number of them seeking services," said Son Minh, executive board member of the Vietnamese Network of MSM and Transgender People. "It's our biggest concern since we cannot educate them on safe sex."

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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Vietnam and HIV/AIDS

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