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International News
Vietnamese Government Issues Documents to Increase Access to HIV Care, Treatment; Increases Spending on Prevention, Treatment Efforts

July 10, 2007

The Vietnamese government has issued a series of documents aimed at increasing access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment in the country in an effort to keep the country's HIV prevalence below 0.27% in 2007, the Vietnam News Agency reports. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently ordered health clinics, social welfare facilities, rehabilitation centers and prisons to provide medical check-ups, counseling, care and treatment to HIV-positive people, as well as funerals for people in their care who die of AIDS-related causes.

In addition, Nguyen recently signed a decree to regulate the implementation of several provisions in the country's Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Anti-Infection. According to the Vietnam News Agency, the decree outlines measures to reduce HIV prevalence and the impact of the virus, including increasing access to antiretroviral drugs. The decree also addresses care for HIV-positive children who have been abandoned and displaced HIV-positive people, as well as the establishment of private centers to care for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition, the government announced it will increase spending on HIV/AIDS services to 440 billion Vietnamese dong, or about $28 million, from 80 billion dong, or about $5 million, in 2006. According to the Vietnam Department for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Fight, the country spent 80 billion dong, or $5 million, annually on prevention and treatment efforts from 2004 to 2006 and 45 billion dong, or about $2.8 million, annually from 1995 to 1999. According to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for the country, HIV prevalence should remain below 0.3% beginning in 2010, the Vietnam News Agency reports (Vietnam News Agency, 7/5).

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