Speech by UNAIDS at the meeting on “Strengthening the partnership between social organizations and community–based organizations and the national HIV response”

His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam,
His Excellency VUSTA President Dang Vu Minh,
Colleagues and friends,

Good morning:

I am very happy to be with you, the civil society partners working in the HIV response in Viet Nam.

Today we will be discussing how we can further strengthen the partnership between community-based organizations and the national response, toward our common goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Last November, the Fast-Track approach toward ending AIDS was introduced. We knew then that the global partners, as well as the high burden countries including Viet Nam, support this approach. Earlier this year, the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS officially adopted this bold approach.

The resulting Political Declaration provides a global mandate to achieve time-bound Fast-Track targets to end AIDS. These targets include a commitment to expand community-led service delivery to cover at least 30% of all HIV service delivery by 2030.

Before discussing how Viet Nam can achieve that target, let’s review some progress Viet Nam has made with the help of community-based organizations.

Today in Viet Nam, 80% of people living with HIV have been diagnosed and know their HIV status. Among them, more than one half are receiving treatment. And nearly two thirds of all people on treatment have achieved viral suppression.

These are truly impressive gains. And without the wide networks of community-based organizations on the ground, innovative approaches to HIV testing could not have been successfully rolled out. And without the critical peer-to-peer support, the continuum of care, from testing to enrolment in treatment to adherence, could not have been sustained.

I urge you to continue your work on scaling up HIV testing and treatment. This is critical for Viet Nam to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, as part of the Fast-Track efforts.

Adopting the Fast-Track approach also means accelerating HIV prevention. Let me emphasize here the importance of your work on prevention. People who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgender people are especially vulnerable to HIV, yet they are often hard to reach. We have to make sure that they can access high quality needles and syringes, condoms and lubricant, methadone and other prevention services.

The most vulnerable people to HIV are often highly stigmatized. Evidence shows that stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and people at higher risk of HIV remains a major barrier to service uptake. Stigma and discrimination also compromises the quality of HIV service provision. I encourage you to focus more on mobilizing affected communities, as well as the wider society, to reduce stigma and discrimination. This will be vital for ending AIDS.

Colleagues and friends,

The HIV funding environment is changing fast. The national response must embrace greater community participation, and in a more sustainable way. This can be done through creating a favourable legal framework that enables everyone to organize themselves and operate without undue interference.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Colleagues and friends,

As we commemorate World AIDS Day today, let us remember all those who have already lost their fight with AIDS. But today, let us also open our hearts and show our support to people living with HIV, and people at higher risk of HIV!

As Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, has urged us all, “Let us join hands to achieve the 90-90-90 targets, with 100-100-100 commitment and even more!”

Xin cam on va chuc suc khoe!


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