People living with HIV and AIDS in Vietnam have greater access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) than ever before, largely as a result of support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and The Global Fund. Together, they have worked with the government to cover 95% of the costs of ARVs ($21.2 million in 2014). In particular, HIV and AIDS hits hardest among the marginalized in Vietnam, especially the country’s injecting drug users (IDUs). Nearly 60% of all reported HIV cases are among IDUs, with an overall HIV prevalence of 30% and as high as 56% in some provinces.
But with donor funding expected to decline, the government is working to develop viable solutions for sustaining HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services. Social Health Insurance is seen as the most appropriate long-term vehicle for Vietnam to take on the direct financial burden from HIV and AIDS program
One of the priorities is the integration of single-function HIV outpatient clinics (OPCs) into the public health care system. To achieve this objective, HFG is working closely with several entities within the Ministry of Health in six different regions, with the aim of full integration of OPCs into the public health care system by the end of 2016. Recently, the HFG project met Dr. Tham Chi Dung of Vietnam Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning and Finance to discuss the progress made so far.