Viet Nam Joins Asia Pacific Countries in Drive to Achieve Universal Access to HIV Services

Prevention revolution, sustained treatment, enabling environment and increased regional financing highlighted as key for regional response

Hanoi, 31 March 2011—Coinciding with the launch of the UN Secretary-General’s report on the global AIDS response, Viet Nam joined nearly 30 countries from Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, on 30-31 March to review progress and challenges and develop key actions for the way forward in the region’s efforts to ensure universal access to HIV services for all.

Despite signs of significant progress, no country in the region is reaching ‘universal access’ across HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. One in three people in the region do not have access to treatment; 60% of people living with HIV in the region do not know their HIV status; and key affected communities continue to be subjected to stigma and discrimination, punitive laws, policies and practices which obstruct access to services.

Many countries in the region – including Viet Nam—rely heavily on international funding for their AIDS responses. 

UNAIDS Asia-Pacific Regional Director Steve Kraus said that governments must create a new form of mutual accountability – government to government – to build a unified regional AIDS response beyond national borders.

“Governments in this region have the economic means to take on greater responsibility for financing AIDS, the results of which will directly impact their continued development” he said. 

Viet Nam has been making steady progress to increase the cost effectiveness and sustainability of the national response, including the adoption of harm reduction approaches, the endorsement of a National Target Programme on AIDS and ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive national strategy for HIV/AIDS prevention and control for the next 10 years that better addresses gender issues and changes in the country’s epidemic.

”Viet Nam is strongly committed to universal access,” affirmed Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong, chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control. “We need to prioritize and quickly scale up evidence-based programs so that all Vietnamese in need – male or female, young or old, rich or poor – will soon have access to HIV services.”

“Achieving universal access targets for Viet Nam is at the heart of our current work to develop the strategy for the next phase of the national HIV response,” added Dr. Bui Duc Duong, Vice Director of the Viet Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, who led the Viet Nam delegation at the regional meeting in Bangkok. “The new strategy will respond to the changing epidemic in Viet Nam, and will better target men and women at higher risk of HIV infection, and put more people living with HIV on treatment.”

Joint UN Team on HIV in Viet Nam | Nguyen Thi Bich Hue | 38224383 etx 105 |


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