Dec 16, 2020 / 09:11

US helps Vietnam end HIV, TB by 2030

The Hanoitimes - The four-year project will help more people living with HIV/AIDS and TB patients enrolled with social health insurance.

The US will support Vietnam’s target to end HIV and tuberculosis by 2030 through a newly-launched four-year project with a planned budget of US$13.9 million.

USAID Vietnam Mission Director Yastishock at the launching ceremony on December 15. Photo: USAID 

On December 15, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) project in Vietnam to strengthen the country’s capacity to sustainably manage HIV and tuberculosis (TB) programs to achieve the target.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, USAID Vietnam Mission Director Yastishock congratulated Vietnam on the successful transition of HIV response from donor to domestic funding with social health insurance (SHI) as the primary financing mechanism.

Vietnam now has 90% of HIV patients enrolled in SHI. All treatment facilities can now be reimbursed for HIV services. Most importantly, SHI funds are now used to procure anti-retroviral drugs, the most expensive component of an HIV response. This is a remarkable trajectory of success.

 Number of deaths from tuberculosis per 100,000 population in Vietnam from 2005 to 2018. Source: Statista

Decade-long support

USAID began supporting HIV/AIDS programs in Vietnam in the mid-1990s. In June 2004, HIV/AIDS funding to Vietnam was increased under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The assistance is made in cooperation with and through the government of Vietnam at the national, provincial and district levels or together with civil society and non-governmental organizations.

Based on epidemiology and collaboration with the local government, USAID’s HIV efforts support Vietnam’s “90-90-90” goals (90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression).

Currently, Vietnam has around 250,000 people living with HIV, statistics by the Ministry of Health showed.

Vietnam is one of four countries with the best HIV/AIDS treatment in the world along with Germany, the UK and Switzerland, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said few months ago.

Regarding TB, an estimated 180,000 people have active TB each year in Vietnam and around 17,000 TB deaths, two times higher than the number of annual deaths caused by traffic accidents, USAID reported.

TB remains one of the most common communicable diseases in Vietnam.

In 2019, Vietnam developed the national action plan to end TB by 2030. In order to achieve the objectives, besides strengthening current interventions, the country must harness new technologies and innovation. For example, double X (chest x-ray and GeneXpert) is a very important innovation to increase detection of TB, according to WHO Representative in Vietnam Dr Kidong Park.