Home » Society » Vietnam progresses in combating HIV

A new study Vietnam progresses in combating HIVentitled “Outcomes of Antiretroviral Therapy in Vietnam: Results from a National Evaluation” shows that Vietnam’s large scale up of HIV services is helping to combat the country’s HIV epidemic.

A press released by the US Embassy on February 26 says since 2005, the United States has worked with Vietnam to help significantly expand its national antiretroviral therapy program to ensure those infected with HIV are linked to lifesaving care and treatment services.

Supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the study evaluated the treatment outcomes of 6,875 patients on antiretroviral treatment from 2005 to 2010. Recently published by the online journal PLOS ONE, the study focuses on Vietnam’s HIV-infected population, including most-at-risk groups such as injecting drug users – the key drivers of the HIV epidemic in the country.

“The study shows generally good responses to antiretroviral therapy and high retention rates among those on treatment,” said Dr. Michelle McConnell, CDC Vietnam’s Country Director.

“This means clients on antiretroviral therapy can go on to lead healthy and productive lives. From a public health perspective, these findings are also important for prevention of HIV, as once on treatment, people infected with HIV are less likely to pass the virus on to others in their community.”

“The results reflect the robust partnership between the US and Vietnam in implementing a national HIV program that addresses the clients’ needs, and show that Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is committed to a strong and sustainable HIV healthcare strategy,” she added.

“The findings from this evaluation are very useful in improving Vietnam’s national antiretroviral therapy program,” said Dr. Nhan Thi Do, Head of the Care and Treatment Department at the Vietnam Administration of AIDS Control.

“Now we can identify any shortcomings and develop appropriate solutions and strategies to ensure a better program in the future,” she said.

Through PEPFAR and CDC, the US continues to provide funding and technical support to Vietnam to bolster its national HIV program.  In 2013 a new outcome evaluation will be carried out to assess the effectiveness of recently adopted guidelines, such as increasing the CD4 threshold that qualify a patient for treatment and improved antiretroviral regimens.


No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!