Vietnam has been added to the list of countries receiving special attention under President George W. Bush’s emergency plan for H-I-V/AIDS relief. Vietnam is expected to have an increase in H-I-V infections from one-hundred-thirty-thousand in 2002 to one million by 2010.
Trends indicate that the deadly infection is now spreading to the general population in Vietnam. President Bush says Vietnam is cooperative and wants help:
“They recognize they have a problem which, by the way, is an important part of battling the pandemic.”
President Bush’s emergency plan is already helping over one-hundred countries around the world. The plan has made a special commitment to fifteen countries that account for approximately half the world’s H-I-V infections -– now including Vietnam. In these severely affected countries, the funding is being used to supply virus-fighting drugs to two-million H-I-V infected people, prevent new infections, and provide care for ten-million adults and orphans affected by the disease. To meet these goals, the U.S. is also training health-care personnel and building health-care systems, which are in desperately short supply.
AIDS has killed at least twenty-million people. More than forty-million are infected with the H-I-V virus that causes AIDS. The disease has left fourteen-million orphans worldwide. President Bush says it’s important “to focus on prevention”:
“We can learn from the experiences of other countries when it comes to a good program to prevent the spread of AIDS, like the nation of Uganda. They’ve started what they call the A-B-C approach to prevention of this deadly disease. That stands for: Abstain, Be faithful in marriage and, when appropriate, use Condoms.”
Uganda has cut its AIDS infection rate to five percent over a ten-year period. As President Bush says, “H-I-V/AIDS can be beaten. America is committed to continue leading the world in ending the plague.”