Last October, Vietnam committed to adopting the UNAIDS ambitious 90-90-90 goals, making it the first country in Asia to do so. Under the 90-90-90 goals, the Vietnamese government has set a target wherein 90 percent of its people living with HIV must know their HIV status; 90 percent of people who know their HIV-positive status must be on treatment; and 90 percent of people on treatment must achieve suppressed viral loads by the year 2020. If Vietnam can reach this ambitious goal, it will be well on the way toward eliminating the disease entirely.
The first cases of HIV/AIDS were found in Vietnam in 1990. By 1992, some 3,000 people were known to be living with the virus. And although the spread of the disease has slowed over the past few years, today, around 260,000 Vietnamese are known to be living with the HIV virus.
The United States government began to support HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Vietnam in the early 1990s, not long after the disease was found among the population there. These programs received a significant boost in 2004, shortly after the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, was initiated in 2004.
Today, the United States is ready to help Vietnam reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target. In late July, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, announced a new program, the Sustainable HIV Response From Technical Assistance Project, which aims to strengthen Vietnam’s capacity to lead the national HIV and AIDS response. The five year, $26-million project will be implemented by the U.S.-based, non-profit human development organization, FHI 360.
“The project will scale up services along the entire HIV care continuum from diagnosis to successful treatment in high HIV burden provinces to achieve 90-90-90 HIV case-finding, care, and treatment targets,” said USAID-Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene. “It will also provide demand-driven technical assistance at the national, provincial and local levels to build sustainable HIV/AIDS services and systems.”
This project is part of our continuing effort toward achieving the ambitious PEPFAR and UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, and beyond that, the ultimate goal of an AIDS-free world.