Limited funds may lead to more HIV/AIDS cases

Published: June 1, 2014

According to the National Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, in the first quarter of 2014, Vietnam saw more than 2,000 new HIV cases, including 928 with full-blown AIDS and 300 deaths.

Among the total figure, men accounted for the majority with 67.6%, and those aged between 20 and 39 accounting for 74.9%.

Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the number of new HIV patients dropped by 35%, AIDS patients fell by 47% and fatalities decreased by 53%.

However, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the decrease may be temporary.

In some mountainous areas, HIV/AIDS patients tend on the rise.

In many localities, including HCM City and Hanoi, the numbers of male sex workers and drug users have increased.

Lieutenant-general Do Kim Tuyen, deputy head of the Anti-Crime Department of the Ministry of Public Security, said due to the complicated drug situation in the world, the drug trade in Vietnam is growing.

According to the National Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution, due to the limited budget, effectively controlling AIDS, drug and prostitution in Vietnam is very difficult.

Donations towards this cause have also been on the decrease.

Only, 23.6% of drug users were tested for HIV in 2013. The rate was only 35.1% among female sex workers and 28.8% among homosexual men.

Many fear that, in the long-term, if the budget is not increased, Vietnam will face a high risk of increasing HIV/AIDS rates.

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