USAID Project Increases HIV/AIDS Policy Dialogue, Improves Vietnam’s HIV Response

Participants discuss the HIV/AIDS policy environment in Vietnam.
Participants discuss the HIV/AIDS policy environment in Vietnam.
Nguyen Thac Phuong/USAID

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

HANOI, August 14, 2013 -- The U.S. Agency for International Development Health Policy Initiative (USAID/HPI) has supported Vietnam’s legal framework and trained staff at over 300 local government and community institutions over a five-year period to more effectively engage in policy dialogue and advocate for better services for people at risk or living with HIV.

“The project worked closely with the Government of Vietnam to develop HIV-related policies to more effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker said at a project workshop today. “The challenge for all development partners will be to enable a long-term policy environment that will make it possible to provide life-saving services for people living with HIV.”

Funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the five-year USAID/HPI project will come to an end next month.  USAID/HPI has contributed to 13 new and revised legal and policy documents related to HIV and AIDS that brought about positive changes; for example, USAID/HPI’s advocacy has led to the Government of Vietnam’s decision to close down 05 detention centers. Today, sex workers also have better access to important HIV prevention services. Vietnam is also moving towards a voluntary, community-based treatment of drug users, and is expanding innovative condom programs for HIV prevention for sex workers and their clients.

USAID/HPI project staff trained 65 self-help groups for people living with HIV and AIDS to better lead and manage their organizations.

In addition, the project provided quality HIV/AIDS legal services to more than 5,000 people and successfully worked with the Government of Vietnam to transition HIV/AIDS legal services from stand-alone legal clinics to the Ministry of Justice’s nationwide legal aid system.

The project worked with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Prime Minister, and Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism to improve laws and policies in the areas of treatment for drug addiction, HIV prevention in the context of sex work, and the role of civil society organizations in delivering HIV/AIDS services. It also provided training and support to 10 provincial HIV departments to use data for decisions and strategic planning for provincial HIV programs.

The U.S. Government through PEPFAR has contributed over $500 million since 2005 to prevent and control the spread of HIV in Vietnam and care for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and their families.

Last updated: August 05, 2014

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