More people can access to Methadone treatment, ARV drugs

It needs to provide Methadone treatment to more people and safe needles and condoms to high risk groups, said Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long at a seminar on Methadone and antiretroviral drugs yesterday.

The seminar was held by the Ministry of Health’s Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control to review the implementation of the project of funding for Methadone and antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

The Deputy Minister said that health care sector should expand consultation, HIV tests and supply enough antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, Methadone and other medications.

At the seminar, head of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control Nguyen Hoang Long said that HIV/AIDS was the most emerging issue in the community’s healthcare mission.

The disease is one of three illnesses that caused most deaths in the country with more than 2,000 people succumbing to the disease annually, he added.

Every year, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS increases by 12,000-14,000. Currently there are over 220,000 HIV-infected people nationwide who need continuous treatment and medical check-up. However, funding for the HIV/AIDS prevention and controlling is not stable. The fund is mainly from non-refundable aids which have been cut down.

The Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control said that as of November 30, 2014, 38 cities and provinces have implemented the project of Methadone treatment with over 23,160 drug addicts being treated with Methadone in medical clinics, achieving 75.1 percent of the target.

As of August, 2014, around 88,624 people were treated with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, accounting for 37 percent of alive people living with HIV. Treatment result showed that the health condition of people infected with HIV is improved remarkably.

The drug has helped curb 96 percent of transmission risk and increase labor capacity. However, just a few people can access to the drug.

Since 2013, WHO has also recommended the ARV use for the prevention of HIV infection, particularly for pregnant women, young children, and key populations exposed to HIV risk.

By Ngoc Minh – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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