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US supports Vietnam in HIV/AIDS response with community-based services

Friday, August 19, 2016, 18:03 GMT+7
US supports Vietnam in HIV/AIDS response with community-based services
This file photo shows a nurse extracting blood from the arm of a person for HIV test.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has recently awarded a five-year grant to the Vietnamese non-profit organization Center for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) to strengthen community-led approaches to HIV prevention, care and treatment.

“Community-based organizations are critical partners as Vietnam strives to achieve its ambitious targets,” USAID Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene said in a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi on Thursday.

“We expect that our partner, LIFE, will strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations and the HIV/AIDS services that they provide to support a sustainable HIV/AIDS response in Vietnam,” he added. The U.S.-funded grant, called the USAID Enhanced Community HIV Link - Southern project, will be implemented in Ho Chi Minh City and deliver effective community-based HIV/AIDS services to men who have sex with men (MSM) and people living with HIV (PLHIV).

In the first two years, the project will significantly contribute toward the fight against HIV in Vietnam by serving more than 18,000 MSM and 1,550 PLHIV.

The overarching objective is to enhance the response of local community-based organizations to the HIV epidemic by strengthening their human, organizational and advocacy ability.

The project will mobilize members of these local organizations to apply creative and effective approaches to detect new HIV cases and connect at-risk populations to health care. The USAID Enhanced Community HIV Link - Southern project will build on the success of the USAID Community HIV Link-Southern project, also implemented by LIFE from May 2014 to May 2016.

It successfully delivered effective community-based HIV/AIDS services to 8,000 people who inject drugs, MSM and female sex workers and 2,000 PLHIV in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho City and An Giang Province.

The project also strengthened capacity for 23 community-based organizations working on HIV/AIDS in these localities and facilitated coordination with key stakeholders in the HIV/AIDS sector at the provincial and national level.

Since 2004, the United States through its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program has partnered with Vietnam to transform HIV from a fatal diagnosis to a treatable illness. 

Throughout the country more than 110,000 PLHIV have started anti-retroviral treatment and more begin treatment each day. 

Through PEPFAR, the U.S. government works closely with the Ministry of Health, Vietnam Social Security, the Global Fund and others to develop an enduring legacy that continues as Vietnam assumes more funding and responsibilities for HIV prevention, treatment and eradication.

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