Deputy PM Phuc, who is also Chairman of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, was presiding over the Committee’s meeting in Hanoi yesterday in preparation for the national conference on the topic scheduled to be held in the northern port city of Hai Phong from March 2-3.
At the meeting, representatives from the Ministries of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Health; and Public Security delivered reports on HIV/AIDS, drugs, and prostitution prevention and the drug detoxification programme in 2011, and also proposed recommendations for the Committee’s activities in 2012.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM Phuc praised the Committee’s efforts at all levels and appreciated attendees’ suggestions for better HIV/AIDS, drugs, and prostitution prevention and control.
He suggested that ministries should strengthen inspection and control over social evils, implement more effective large scale prevention and combat measures, and continue disseminating information related to preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS, drugs and prostitution.
He also called on the Committee to consolidate its operations from central to grassroots levels.
The Deputy PM said that the methadone programme for treating drug users has achieved positive results in reducing the frequency of heroin use, improving patient health, and reducing the spread of HIV and other blood transmitted diseases.
He asked for the expansion of the methadone treatment programme and improvements in rehabilitation centres nationwide.
According to the Ministry of Health, at the end of December 2011, Vietnam reported 197,335 people living with HIV. In 2011 alone, the country detected 14,125 new HIV infection, 6,432AIDS cases, and 2,413 deaths from the disease. The numbers of HIV infections, AIDS patients and fatalities dropped by 142, 78 and 143, respectively, as compared to 2010.
There were a reported 158,414 drug addicts in the country at the end of November 2011, an increase of 8,514 over the same period last year.
Nearly 3,021 prostitutes and 36,163 drug addicts across the country have now undergone rehabilitation and detoxification, and 2,072 former sex workers and 4,635 drug users have received vocational training and acquired jobs.