USAID helps Vietnam tackle HIV infections

USAID helps Vietnam tackle HIV infections

HO CHI MINH CITY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a two-year project to improve community response to HIV in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho City and An Giang province, local Thanh Nien ( Youth) reported Tuesday.

The "USAID Community HIV Link-Southern" project focuses on strengthening the ability of local organizations to reach the most at-risk populations and link them with appropriate HIV services, the report quoted Rena Bitter, U.S. General Consul in Ho Chi Minh City as saying in a statement.

The project will be implemented by the Center for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to deliver effective community-based HIV/AIDS services to 4,000 high-risk people, including injecting drug users, female sex workers, men who have sex with men and 2,000 people living with HIV.

The Community HIV Link project is expected to create an effective approach for HIV case finding and connecting vulnerable populations to healthcare.

According to HCM City's AIDS Committee, the city is a "hot spot " of HIV/AIDs as it is a center of migrants, including international migrants. It has more than 59,000 people infected with HIV since the first case found in 1990, of which 49,581 are alive.

HIV infection through sex has increased, particularly among men who have sex with men and sex workers, reported the committee.