MoH: 85 percent of all people in Vietnam infected with HIV know their status
According to the MoH’s Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, Vietnam is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to commit to realising the 90-90-90 target set by the UN.
Realising the 90-90-90 target is extremely important in preventing HIV/AIDS and eliminating it by 2030.
At present, nearly 151,000 HIV-infected people aware of their status have undergone antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, accounting for 75 percent, while 96 percent of ARV-treated patients have had the virus suppressed.
The country is making every effort to have 95 percent of HIV carriers aware of their status, 95 percent of whom are to access sustained ARV therapy and 95 percent of such patients are to have the virus suppressed.
The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the stage of infection. Though people living with HIV tend to be most infectious in the first few months after being infected, many are unaware of their status until the later stages. In the first few weeks after initial infection people may experience no symptoms or an influenza-like illness including fever, headache, rash or sore throat.
As the infection progressively weakens the immune system, they can develop other signs and symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough. Without treatment, they could also develop severe illnesses such as tuberculosis (TB), cryptococcal meningitis, severe bacterial infections, and cancers such as lymphomas and Kaposi's sarcoma.
The targets are key to efforts to erase AIDS in Vietnam by 2030, in accordance with the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to 2030.
Since 2018, Vietnam has worked tirelessly to promote Undetectable=Untransmittable, or U=U (K=K in Vietnamese) - a campaign that encourages people living with HIV to undergo continual ARV treatment to have their viral load suppressed and stop the virus from being passed on.
Reports from the MoH show that Vietnam has contained the prevalence of HIV among the general population to below 0.3 percent, as targeted in the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to 2020 with a Vision to 2030.
In the national strategy for ending AIDS by 2030, Vietnam targets bringing the number of newly-detected infections to under 1,000 a year, while fatalities linked to HIV/AIDS are to be less than one per 100,000 people.
Illustrative image. Photo: VNA
The UN Resident Coordinator for Vietnam, Kamal Malhotra, remarked, “If it acts together with even greater solidarity and shared responsibility, Vietnam can keep its promise to leave no one behind and end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, thereby significantly and positively contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
During the national conference on 30 years of HIV response in Vietnam and 2020 World AIDS Day in December 1, he stressed that Vietnam has been leading by example in embracing innovations as well as evidence-based and pragmatic approaches in the response to HIV in this region.
"Your efforts in controlling the HIV epidemic also contribute significantly to the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including the SDGs on gender equality, reducing inequalities and partnerships for achieving the goals, among others," said Malhotra.