Scientific studies help VN soon end HIV/AIDS by 2030

Wednesday 19/02/2020 16:13

VGP – Vietnamese scientists have actively joined hands with other foreign professionals to seek for scientific evidence to propose right decisions in policy-making, technical guidance and treatment management, aiming to end HIV/AIDS by 2030. 

According to the statistics of the Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), under the Ministry of Health, as many as 250,000 HIV carriers have been uncovered nationwide, focusing on male and youngsters. 

More than 60% of HIV carriers have been living in 19 southern localities while one decade ago, HIV carriers were mainly present in the north. 

Representative of the VAAC Vo Hai Son said that new HIV carriers witnessed an increase in transmissions among men who have sex with men (MSM), which is estimated at around 12% in this group and higher than other groups. This means it is necessary to launch measures to reduce HIV transmissions among drug addicts as well as carry out prompt measures for controlling HIV transmissions among MSM. 

To limit HIV transmissions among drug addicts and strengthen the effectiveness of HIV treatment, a study carried out by Professor Todd Korthuis at Oregon Health & Science University and Professor Le Minh Giang Deputy Director, Center for Training on Research on Substance Abuse has released positive achievements. 

The research theme “HIV Care Engagement and Outcomes: A Randomized Trial (BRAVO) aims to compare two models of substance abuse treatment in Viet Nam, and how they each affect HIV care. In Viet Nam, the current model for treating people with HIV who are also dependent on opioids is to refer them to methadone maintenance treatment centers. The new model the protocol will study is treatment of HIV and opioid dependence with buprenorphine/naloxone and counseling in the HIV clinic.

Another study on Methadone medicine and HIV treatment medicine (NVP / EFV) interactions among HIV-infected drug patients by population pharmacokinetic assessment between Professor Gavin Bart at Minnesota University, Professor Jim Hodges and Professor Le Minh Giang has been evaluated as feasible. 

Study on developing evidence-based intervention program on testing counseling and referral for HIV treatment for drug addicts in Viet Nam, randomly divided into groups(SNaP) has been launched within five years (from 2019-2023) at 42 testing and counseling laboratories at 10 localities in Viet Nam.

These 10 localities include Dien Bien, Son La, Thai Nguyen, Ha Noi, Quang Ninh, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Long An and Khanh Hoa, which have been listed among key regions of HIV transmissions among drug addicts. 

Objects of the projects consist of directors and staff of health centers at districts and nearly 6,200 drug addicts positive with HIV. 

Regarding study on reduction of HIV transmissions among MSM, Doctor Bui Thi Minh Hao, at the Center for Training on Research on Substance Abuse has realized a study on the impact of sexualized drug use (chemsex) among MSM. 

The study shows that the proportion of HIV transmissions is high. Without intervention, seven among 100 MSM in Ha Noi will be infected with HIV each year (an estimated MSM number in Ha Noi is around 35,000 ones). Thus, each individual should use safe measures for sexual behaviors or Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a course of HIV drugs taken by HIV-negative people to protect them against HIV infection. 

A study on pilot intervention based on evidence of reducing methamphetamine use in Viet Nam has also been carried out, which helps the Ministry of Health expand use of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS)treatment at Methadone treatment center as well as community-based organizations of MSM nationwide. 

Deputy head of VAAC Pham Duc Manh said that these studies are scientific evidence for the Ministry of Health for building policies and technical guidance in HIV/AIDS prevention and control. 

By Thuy Dung  

 

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