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HIV a real threat to Vietnam’s under-15s

Resource type: News

Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) |

Approximately 5,700 children under the age of 15 in Vietnam will be infected with HIV in the next three years, according to a recent report by the Department for HIV/AIDS Prevention.

The department has worked alongside the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and a number of other organisations to compile the report, which was released on Feb. 24 and predicts the likely spread of HIV across Vietnam during the 2007-2012 period.

According to the report, the HIV infection rate among drug addicts, the group with the highest risk of infection, will stabilise at 30 percent during this period.

The report lists the provinces and cities with the highest rate of HIV/AID-infected drug addicts, including northern Quang Ninh province with 56 percent, Ho Chi Minh City with 55 percent, and southern Can Tho city with 45 percent.

The northwestern provinces have been warned that they will experience a rapid escalation in the rate of HIV cases, and have been advised to adopt bold preventive measures to prevent this from occurring.

Prostitutes are the second highest risk group, with the infection rate amongst sex workers forecast to increase from 9 percent in 2007 to 9.3 percent by 2012.

The report also estimates that around 65,000 adults will require access to antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programmes by 2010.

According to the Ministry of Health, all 63 provinces and cities throughout the country have reported cases of HIV infection, with 84 percent of the infected aged between 20 and 39.

The ministry said there are currently 135,000 people living with HIV across the country, with 29,000 of them suffering from full-blown AIDS.

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