Việt Nam receives ARV medication from Australia amid shortage

Minister of Health Đào Hồng Lan extended heartfelt thanks for this valuable and timely gift for people living with HIV in Việt Nam.

Minister of Health Đào Hồng Lan received ARV drugs to treat HIV/AIDS from the Australian Government in cooperation with the World Health Organization. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has just received 65,000 bottles of the ARV medication for the treatment of HIV/AIDS from the Australian Government in co-operation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the reception ceremony on June 20, Minister of Health Đào Hồng Lan said they highly appreciated the swift support from WHO, the Government and the people of Australia for Việt Nam, to help prevent current shortages of the medicine for HIV/AIDS patients.

Minister Lan extended heartfelt thanks for this valuable and timely gift for people living with HIV in Việt Nam.

The Australian government has significantly contributed to HIV/AIDS prevention in Việt Nam through the 'Asia Regional HIV/AIDS Project' (2009-15), which helped curb the epidemic during its most severe phase, she said.

Additionally across other areas of health, co-operation between Australia and Việt Nam has been strengthened through the implementation of technical activities between professional units of the two countries.

Notably, during the fight against COVID-19, Australia supported Việt Nam with vaccines and a vaccination programme for children.

"We hope that the health co-operation between the two sides will be further promoted in health security, infectious disease prevention, scientific research/vaccine development and professional exchange," Minister Lan said.

At the ceremony, Nguyễn Anh Tú, the youth programme co-ordinator at the Việt Nam Network of People Living with HIV (VNP+), added: "For HIV-infected individuals, ARV medication is life itself. ARV medication has helped those living with HIV maintain good health and be able to study, work and contribute to the community and society more effectively."

Currently, Việt Nam has over 178,000 people living with HIV and undergoing ARV treatment. To maintain health and reduce new HIV infections, they would need continuous, lifelong ARV treatment.

Recently, the procurement of ARV in Việt Nam faced some difficulties, and the Ministry of Health is actively promoting the procurement of ARV medications from health insurance sources.

The minister stated that they are pushing for ARV medication procurement, having completed a first round in price negotiations.

From June to August, 14.5 million ARV tablets are expected to be supplied for patient treatment.

The remaining medications will be centrally procured at the national level to ensure continuous treatment for HIV patients. — VNS

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