VN ready to expand PrEP treatment to more 27 localities

Thursday 01/10/2020 10:16

VGP – Viet Nam is ready to expand Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) treatment nationwide, which is regarded as a part of the nation’s commitments to end AIDS by 2030. 

Deputy head of the Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), under the Ministry of Health Phan Thi Thu Huong made that statement on the occasion of two-year implementation of PrEP treatment in Viet Nam. 

Since June 2017, the VAAC has piloted the PrEP treatment in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi. Experience gained from the pilot model has highlighted the necessity of providing specific services for targeted groups HIV/AIDS services at public and private medical facilities. 

The treatment has been deployed since November 2018 in 11 localities, which has been sponsored by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). 

Currently, more than 12,000 customers have joined PrEP program, exceeding 50% of the target set for 2020. 

The health sector is ready to launch the PrEP program in other 27 localities, Huong said, adding that the program is totally free, which allows high-risk people to easily get access to PrEP services.

A total number of 254 customers are using PrEP scenario and 76 State medical facilities are providing PrEP treatment for more than 6,000 customers. 

Meanwhile, 20 private medical facilities are supplying PrEP service for 5,800 customers. Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi are the two localities with the highest number of PrEP users. 

In 2021, the program will focus on men who have sex with men as the targeted group, Huong added.  

PrEP is a preventive medicine that, when taken daily, has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92%.

CDC/PEPFAR is supporting the Government of Viet Nam to expand PrEP services to key populations in both private and public facilities, with the first patients enrolled in April 2019.

PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and a cornerstone of the CDC/PEPFAR strategy to reduce the number of new HIV cases in Viet Nam and meet the UNAIDS 90-90-95 targets by 2020 (by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral treatment; and 95% of all people receiving antiretroviral treatment will be virally suppressed).

By Thuy Dung

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