HANOI, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has kept the HIV/AIDS transmission rate in the country to under 0.3 percent and reduced new cases in three consecutive years while effectively implementing a program on providing methadone to drug addicts.
So far, Vietnam has detected 213,413 HIV cases who are still alive, of whom 63,373 cases have developed AIDS, and 65,133 accumulative deaths have been reported, according to Vietnam's state-run news agency on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also head of Vietnam's National Steering Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control, released the figures at a workshop to strengthen social organizations' participation in the implementation of the national strategy on HIV/AIDS prevention held Tuesday here.
According to the Vietnamese official, the country is facing challenges in HIV/AIDS prevention and control because the epidemic tends to spread to low-risk groups. The country is in a high demand for resources for HIV/AIDS prevention task, but external aids are declining, he said.
To control the spread of HIV/AIDS in community, the Vietnamese government has built the national strategy on HIV/AIDS prevention for the 2003-2010 periods with a vision to 2020 and the HIV/AIDS prevention and control strategy until 2020 with a vision to 2030 with the participation of social organizations, including those of the HIV carriers.
According to UNAIDS Country Coordinator Kristan Schoultz, the number of HIV cases among homosexual groups in Vietnam continues to increase, while the rate among injecting drug users in big cities and mountainous regions remains high.
Schoultz proposed that the government, social organizations, non-governmental organizations and community groups ensure policy transparency to facilitate support services now that international aids, which accounts for 70 percent of the total spending on HIV prevention in Vietnam, are being cut down.
In the first five months of this year, about 29 new HIV- infected cases were found daily nationwide, according to the Vietnam's National Steering Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control.