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MSM account for 76% of new HIV infections in Ho Chi Minh City: health department

MSM account for 76% of new HIV infections in Ho Chi Minh City: health department

Friday, July 01, 2022, 15:06 GMT+7
MSM account for 76% of new HIV infections in Ho Chi Minh City: health department
A patient receives HIV medications at a health facility in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre

About 76 percent of HIV infections recorded in Ho Chi Minh City in 2021 were among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to statistics from the municipal Department of Health.

The number of HIV infections in the southern metropolis has been increasing, the health department stated, adding that there is a change in HIV-related risk behaviors.

The number of new cases rose to nearly 4,500 in 2021 from about 2,000 in 2012.

In the past, injecting drug users accounted for the majority of HIV cases in the city.

However, MSM currently make up the highest ratio.

About 76 percent of Ho Chi Minh City’s HIV infections in 2021 were recorded among this group.

Despite many achievements in the past 30 years, the city still faces multiple challenges and obstacles on the way to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

About 51,000-55,000 people are living with HIV in Ho Chi Minh City, occupying 24 percent of the country’s total tally, said Dr. Van Hung, head of the city’s HIV/AIDS program.

As of May, more than 44,200 HIV patients are receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) at more than 40 public and private health facilities in the city, Hung continued.

About 99 percent of the patients undergoing ART have achieved an undetectable viral load.

In addition, HIV patients in the city also receive other medical services such as hepatitis C treatment, screening for non-communicable diseases, tuberculosis, and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as mental health care.

Hundreds of thousands of people have access to free HIV counseling and testing through sponsorship programs every year over the past five years, the doctor stated.

Among the new patients in 2021, 96 percent were treated with ART, he added.

The southern city is a pioneer in the implementation and application of effective HIV/AIDS prevention models in recent years, namely a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) program, HIV testing in the community, and screening for non-communicable diseases.

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Duy Khang - Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre News

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