Viet Nam Leads on Treatment 2.0—First Pilot Begins in Mid 2011

Ha Noi, 19 May 2011 –  Viet Nam is taking the lead in universal access to comprehensive HIV services as the first country to pilot Treatment 2.0–a new generation of HIV treatment that radically decreases AIDS-related deaths and helps to prevent HIV infection.  

“Viet Nam will pilot Treatment2.0 in the hopes that we can provide everyone in need with HIV prevention, treatment, care and support” said Associate Professor Dr Bui Duc Duong, Deputy Administrator, Viet Nam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), who presented the Treatment 2.0 pilot today at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. The pilot will be launched later this year in two of Viet Nam’s provinces with the highest HIV burden.

In Viet Nam, the HIV epidemic is concentrated in high risk populations, predominantly with people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men and female sex workers. Currently, 254,387 people are living with HIV.  Viet Nam’s response to HIV has successfully scaled up access to treatment in the past five years with 54% of the adult population in need, receiving antiretroviral therapy. However, most people living with HIV seek treatment too late when their immune system has weakened and opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis have set in. In these cases, treatment is much less effective, resulting in increased deaths. 

Treatment 2.0–a joint initiative of World Health Organization (WHO) and Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), includes a more optimized drug regime for people living with HIV, cheaper and simpler diagnostic tools and a low-cost community-led approach to delivery.  Evidence in recent studies confirms that in addition to saving lives, anti-retroviral therapy—when initiated early enough—successfully suppresses a person’s viral load and reduces the risk of HIV transmission.  

“I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for fostering this important innovation in HIV treatment and prevention. This will significantly reduce cost, further expand HIV programmes, mobilize communities to scale up HIV testing and treatment, reduce stigma and ultimately make the national response to HIV more sustainable,” said Mr. Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Viet Nam Country Director, Chair of the Joint UN Team on HIV in Viet Nam. “WHO and UNAIDS will work together at country level to support Viet Nam with the implementation of Treatment 2.0,” added Mr. Fabio Mesquita, Head of HIV Unit at WHO Viet Nam.

UN Communications Office in Viet Nam | Nguyen Thi Bich Hue | tel. 3822 4383 Ext.105 |

WHO Viet Nam | Phung Thi Thu Phuong | tel. 3943 3734 Ext. 83886 |


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