National meeting and parade on the occasion of 2017 National Action Month on AIDS and World AIDS Day

Your Excellency, Vu Du Dam, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control,

Your Excellency Madame Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Minister of Health,

Leaders of the Communist Party and People’s Committee of Hai Duong,

 

Distinguished guests, colleagues and friends,

On behalf of the United Nations Joint Team on HIV in Viet Nam, I am very honoured to join World AIDS Day celebration in Hai Duong city, marking another year of progress on the world’s and Viet Nam’s determined journey towards ending AIDS by 2030.

Thanks to strong political commitment, leadership, significant investments and strong partnership in the last more than 20 years, Viet Nam has achieved impressive progress in HIV control. With prevention and effective treatment, between 2000 and 2016, we estimate that nearly half a million new HIV infections and nearly 150,000 AIDS-related deaths were averted in Viet Nam.

And progress continues – every day – with more people testing for HIV and, if HIV positive, accessing effective HIV treatment.  Lives are saved, people stay healthy and productive and in addition, contribute to stopping the virus from spreading further. 2017 was another year of real and impressive achievements: as mentioned, the 9th year of consistent decline in new HIV infections and AIDS related deaths, which Viet Nam can be proud of.

Fast Tracking the HIV response for ending AIDS by 2030 is a very ambitious goal. Solid progress is not yet full success and the stakes and risks remain high. Past experience is an inspiration of what is possible but the last part of the journey towards ending AIDS may be the most complex with new challenges ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends,

More than ever, we have strong national political commitment and direction from Viet Nam’s leaders on ending AIDS and reaching the 90-90-90, with sufficient investment. This was reaffirmed this year with a landmark Resolution on Healthcare adopted by the Communist Party’s Central Committee and clear commitments under the new National Targeted Program for Health & Population. And many provinces, including Hai Duong, are also demonstrating strong commitment.

We know where to focus and what works best in terms of comprehensive services including innovative approaches: outreach and prevention including condoms and lubricant, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), harm reduction including methadone treatment (MMT) and needle & syringes, testing, immediate HIV treatment, viral load, care and support in a zero stigmatization and zero discrimination environment.

We also know that sufficiently investing now in the right interventions at the right locations for the right populations will keep Viet Nam on the right track, maintaining the gains and moving faster on its journey towards the 90-90-90 and ending AIDS. For this, let us all, as a shared responsibility, mobilize greater investments and optimize all the available domestic and international human and financial resources at all levels for more efficiency and impact.

On World AIDS Day, we also commemorate all the people we lost to AIDS. The best way we can pay tribute to them is to reaffirm that, in our hearts and minds, compassion, solidarity, respect, the right to health and dignity for everyone to know about HIV, get tested and safely access quality HIV treatment with zero stigmatization and zero discrimination will remain at the center of all efforts – leaving no Vietnamese behind.

The stakes are high but so are the opportunities. Viet Nam’s journey towards ending AIDS continues with determination. Be part of it and of the solutions to stop the virus.

As Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has urged us all today and at other occasions, “Let us join hands to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, with 100-100-100% commitment and even more”, to end AIDS by 2030.

 

Xin cam on va chuc suc khoe!

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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) was established in 1996 as the global leader of the response to HIV. UNAIDS leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. See more about UNAIDS at www.unaids.org

Green One UN House, 304 Kim Ma, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet Nam