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Posts Tagged ‘HIV’

Vietnam makes much progress in preventing HIV infections

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Regional Director Asia Pacific Steve Kraus delivered a message at a press conference about Vietnam’s success in preventing HIV/AIDS on the World AIDS Day (December 1).

HIV was one of the deadly diseases and there was no effective medication for treating it twenty years ago. However, the world has witnessed great progress in preventing the disease in the Southeast Asian nation.

The rate of HIV infections has not changed and fewer people died of the disease. More important, Vietnam has raised prevention level and the national prevention program has had positive changes which resulted in the low number of infected people in community especially among high risk group including sex worker, as men who have sex with men and injecting drug users.

AIDS-related stigma and discrimination including prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS exist worldwide, although they manifest themselves differently across countries, communities, religious groups and individuals. Any nation can resolve the problem, they can reduce the rate of HIV infections and vice versa.

The government should not force or impose any punishments on people of high risk group but enhance treatment and good behaviors to them. In addition, HIV infected people have right to access to best healthcare services.

As poor HIV patients hardly buy antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease, UNAIDS will help to expand treatment services and clinics in the next time. furthermore, UNAIDS will ask pharmaceutical companies to decrease the price of the medication.

Vietnam has young population and limited budget, it should therefore apply prevention measures which proved to be most effective. The government should publicize information and educate young people of the disease and reproductive health.

Source: SGGP

New methadone and HIV outpatient clinics opens in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

The U.S. Government and Vietnam have opened two new clinics in Hanoi showcasing American support for Vietnam’s efforts to address HIV/AIDS.

In the run-up to World AIDS Day on December 1 that marks 20 years of national commitment to address HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak and Hanoi’s Department of Health Director, Le Anh Tuan, opened a methadone clinic for heroin drug users in the city’s Son Tay District.

This is the third methadone clinic the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported in Hanoi and the 13th supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Vietnam.

The clinic will complement the other HIV-related services which are now available in Son Tay. These services help reduce the transmission of HIV and improve the health status and quality of life of drug users.

PEPFAR supports methadone maintenance therapy in Vietnam in order to reduce HIV and other related diseases among drug users, reduce drug dependence, and support drug users’ reintegration into the community.

Heroin drug users in Son Tay district and surrounding areas can now have access to free, effective, evidence-based treatment. This is complemented by counseling, social support and referral to other health services including accessing anti-retroviral therapy.

“We look forward to collaborating with a range of Vietnamese government authorities from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security as Vietnam strengthens its capacity in the coming months and years to assume an increasing portion of methadone treatment and a range of other HIV-related health programs with its own human and financial resources,” Ambassador Michalak said.

USAID’s Acting Mission Director Michael Foster and Vietnamese officials November 30 cut a ribbon formally opening the doors of an HIV outpatient clinic in Hanoi’s Soc Son District. 

This facility will provide people living with HIV in Soc Son and surrounding districts with high-quality clinical care, support, and treatment services for 400 patients in its first year. It will also offer voluntary counseling and testing and prevention counseling for 750 individuals over the next 12 months. It will also provide services to people staying in a state-run drug rehabilitation center nearby.

Source: SGGP

15 finalists attend pageant for Vietnamese women living with HIV

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm

HIV: Finally, Positive Results from a Microbicide Trial

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

The HIV prevention world is abuzz with excitement following news of the first clinical evidence that a vaginal gel – known as a microbicide – can help to prevent sexual transmission of HIV infection.

A study by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) found that a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral (ARV) drug tenofovir was 39 percent effective in reducing a woman’s HIV risk when used for about three-quarters of sex acts and 54 percent effective when used more consistently. It also halved the incidence of genital herpes infections.

“Tenofovir gel could fill an important HIV prevention gap by empowering women who are unable to successfully negotiate mutual faithfulness or condom use with their male partners,” said Quarraisha Abdool Karim, one of the lead investigators of the study and associate director of Caprisa. “This new technology has the potential to alter the course of the HIV epidemic, especially in southern Africa where young women bear the brunt of this devastating disease.”

More than half of new HIV infections in Africa occur in women and girls. The CAPRISA study findings are likely to revive flagging morale among researchers disappointed by two decades of failed efforts to develop a female-controlled method of HIV prevention.

“We are giving hope to women. For the first time we have seen results for a woman-initiated and controlled HIV prevention option,” Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, said in a statement. “If confirmed, a microbicide will be a powerful option for the prevention revolution and help us break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic.” 

Funded by the US and South African governments, the CAPRISA trial involved 889 HIV-negative, sexually active South African women who were considered to be at high risk of HIV infection. Half of the women were given vaginal applicators containing a 1 percent concentration of tenofovir gel, while the other half were given a placebo gel. The women were asked to insert a dose of the gel 12 hours before sexual intercourse and a second dose within 12 hours after intercourse. 

Over the course of the year-long study, 98 women became HIV positive – 38 in the tenofovir gel group compared to 60 in the placebo gel group. On average, adherence to the gel was over 70 percent, but among women who used the tenofovir gel for more than 80 percent of sex acts the gel provided greater protection from HIV. 

“We believe that the most responsible plan of action now is to quickly and efficiently articulate the sequence of steps necessary for confirmation and follow-up of these results, while also aggressively planning for potential roll-out of a licensable product,” Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, said in a statement. 

“As exciting as this result is – and as important as it is to follow it up without delay – the reality is that this product will not be available for widespread introduction tomorrow,” Mitchell cautioned. “It is critical to manage expectations while maintaining urgency.” 

Source: SGGP

Obama vows to cut HIV cases with new AIDS strategy

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that any new case of HIV/AIDS was one too many, as he rolled out a new national strategy to cut infections and improve care for those with the disease.

The White House displays a large red ribbon for World AIDS day in 2009. (AFP file)

Thirty years after the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) burst to global attention, the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy will demand action from federal, state and tribal governments and medical and scientific communities.

It envisages cutting the annual number of new domestic infections by 25 percent over five years.

“The question is not whether we know what to do, but whether we will do it?” Obama said, as he officially unveiled the new strategy at a reception for HIV/AIDS activists at the White House.

“We are here because we believe that while HIV transmission rates in this country are not as high as they once were, every new case is one case too many.

“We are here because we believe in an America where those living with HIV/AIDS are not viewed with suspicion but treated with respect, where they are provided the medications and the healthcare they need.”

In a vision statement, Obama’s strategy says “the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare.”

Those who are infected, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic level, will get “unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States has claimed nearly 600,000 lives, although the disease has faded from the headlines in recent years, as new life-extending anti-retroviral drug therapies have emerged.

But around 56,000 people still become infected with HIV every year.

There are currently 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, according to US government figures.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new strategy represented a turning point for US government policy.

“Either we could chose to get used to HIV and AIDS and accept that it was a permanent feature of US society … or we could chose to double down and refocus our efforts,” she said.

“We refuse to accept a stalemate — to dig in and just hold the disease at bay.”

The new Obama strategy has three goals: to reduce the number of new infections; to increase access to care for those with HIV; and to reduce HIV-related health disparities.

The new strategy recognizes the tight fiscal straitjacket under which the administration is operating, after the worst financial crisis in decades.

It states that better results should be possible to achieve within existing funding levels and says the case for additional investments where they are required should be highlighted.

The plan includes more than 100 specific directives to federal agencies to develop standards for prevention programs and other steps to meet the new goals.

The plan is designed to intensify HIV prevention efforts in most at risk communities, including gay and bisexual men, African-American men and women, the Latino community, addicts and drug users.

It also envisages improving the education of all Americans about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent the spread of the disease.

The administration also plans to use the new Obama health care reform plan passed this year as a platform for expanding treatment of HIV/AIDS for the most vulnerable communities.

During the event, in the ornate East Room of the White House, Obama was interrupted by one guest who shouted “Mr President!”

Obama closed down the man’s protest by saying he would chat to the man after his speech: “That’s why I invited you here, right? So you don’t have to yell.”

Obama’s plan drew mainly praise from groups fighting AIDS. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, called the new strategy “a lifesaving public health intervention.”

Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation said more efforts are needed to fight AIDS.

“People are just not as concerned about HIV,” Kates said. “There is a sense we have treatments, that HIV doesn’t seem as bad as it used to. … There is more complacency.”

Obama announced in October that his administration would end a ban on people with HIV/AIDS traveling to the United States, which rights groups had branded discriminatory and harmful.

The measure came into force in January.

The United States has also contributed tens of billions of dollars for HIV/AIDS relief around the world, with the President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — one of the most lauded legacy achievements of former president George W. Bush.

Source: SGGP

Around 2,000 newborn Vietnamese babies infected with HIV

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

There are an estimated 6,000 pregnant women infected with HIV annually in Vietnam, 35 percent of whom are likely to transmit the virus to their newborn babies, according to a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, part of MoH,  launched a Month of Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, calling on pregnant women to take HIV tests for their babies’ health on June 2.

Mother can transmit HIV virus during stages of prenancy. Approximately 2,000 newborn kids of infected mothers have contracted the virus from their mothers unless no appropriate interventions must be taken to prevent mother-to-child transmissions

Pregnant women infected with HIV, are on the rise, according to the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, saying that approximately 2,000 newborn kids of infected mothers have contracted the virus from their mothers.  Appropriate interventions must be taken to prevent mother-to-child transmissions.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong, also Chair of the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Control, instructed agencies to help pregnant mothers access early diagnoses and take timely intervention measures in order to alleviate prenatal HIV transmission.

Services are available at 225 sites across the country, where pregnant women are provided with voluntary HIV tests, antiretroviral drugs to prevent prenatal transmission and powder milk for babies born to HIV-infected mothers.

However, most of HIV-infected mothers in Vietnam are not diagnosed until they have already arrived at health care facilities to deliver their babies, causing difficulty for health workers to give consultation and provide treatment against the transmission of the virus from mothers to children.

Source: SGGP

US finances loans for HIV patients, caregivers

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2009 at 2:15 pm

People living with HIV and caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children will receive loans to start small businesses under a US government program launched December 17.

In total, 750 Vietnamese, many of whom are women who support at least five other family members, will benefit from the program being implemented by the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

750 Vietnamese, many of whom are women, will benefit from the program being implemented by the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Seven provinces and cities will be targeted including northern Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, and Ha Noi; the central province of Nghe An; the Mekong delta provinces of Can Tho, and An Giang; and Ho Chi Minh City.

Each loan recipient will receive an average of US$450 over the next 12 months, for a total of US$300,000 provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under PEPFAR. 

The program, implemented by Vietnam’s Women’s Union with management support from UNAIDS, will provide training on small business management and related skills.

A loan will be considered successful if at least 40 percent is repaid in the first year and at least 80 percent is repaid after three years.

Food security indicators and an assessment tool will be developed and used to assess food insecurity and refer potential beneficiaries for loan consideration. Loan beneficiaries will also be accepted from local Women’s Unions and People Living with HIV self-help groups.

Before receiving the loan, beneficiaries will work with project staff to develop feasible business plans, which include a timeline for re-paying all funds within three years. USAID funding will be used as a revolving fund to reach more beneficiaries in the coming years.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Vietnam sees progress in fighting HIV/AIDS

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Hanoi – Up to 90 percent of prostitutes in Vietnam are now aware of preventing HIV by using condoms, a senior anti-HIV/AIDS official said, adding this has been helpful to the country’s fight against the deadly disease.

Director Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Department made the remarks at a seminar on the issue in Hanoi on June 23-24.

The seminar evaluated the efficiency of the programmes carried out by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Health and international organisations, such as the International Family Medicine, Doctors of the World, and Care.

The participants heard that over recent years, Vietnam has implemented a number of programmes to reduce HIV/AIDS impacts on the community, including the provision of injection needle s and condoms.

Last year, 10 million needles were given to drug users and 71 million condoms were provided for sex workers.

By the end of the first quarter of this year, Vietnam had reported 124,000 HIV carriers, of whom around 26,000 developed full-blown AIDS, and 39,000 AIDS-related fatalities. Around 40 percent of the HIV carriers are drug addicts.