The signing ceremony of the project (Photo: VNA)

The project will be carried out from April 2019 to March 2024. It includes effectiveness verification of sustainable HIV patient treatment in Vietnam’s health system and effectiveness verification of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent new HIV infections, contributing to reducing new HIV infections.

It is estimated that Vietnam now has around 250,000 HIV-infected people in the community and nearly 14,000 new HIV infections are diagnosed each year, ranking fourth in the Asia-Pacific region.

The project will support building a connection system between the central hospital and provincial hospitals to monitor HIV treatment, thereby timely diagnosing new HIV infections, early diagnosis of treatment failure and drug resistance mutations; setting up a PrEP surveillance system to contribute to HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Vietnam.

At present, spending for drugs and some tests for HIV/AIDS patients in Vietnam at central hospitals are being provided free of charge through international funding sources. However, when Vietnam becomes a middle-income country, aid from international projects has been and will continue to be reduced. Treatment will be covered by health insurance and will be provided by local health centres, while many local health centres are not yet familiar with HIV treatment.

In addition, many patients have to partly pay for their treatment. This may affect patient's treatment adherence leading to viral outbreak and drug resistance, high risk of drug resistance HIV spread among the community, failure to reach the 90-90-90 goal and the potential inability to repel the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In terms of prevention, the Ministry of Health has issued a HIV PrEP treatment plan for the 2018-2020 period. The plan will be implemented in Hanoi and some provinces throughout the country./.