Workers lack HIV awareness: official

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VietNam News English - 51 month(s) ago 2 readings

Though HCM City has implemented many HIV-prevention programmes at workplaces, workers and employers still do not have much awareness about the disease, an AIDS Prevention Committee official said.

At a workshop last Friday, Nguyen Thi Hue, who is responsible for the implementation of programmes, said the programmes had been carried out since 2000.

These include HIV/AIDS prevention programmes for construction workers, employees of Nha Be Garment Company, and migrants in the districts of Tan Binh, Binh Tan, Nha Be, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, Thu Duc, and Cu Chi.

The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been carrying out a two-year programme for workers at 12 companies.

Workers are taught how to prevent HIV infection and transmission and provided information on support programmes and care policies for people with HIV.

They receive free condoms, syringes, and anti-retroviral drugs and information about where they can get tested for HIV.

Drug users are provided methadone so that they can gradually kick the drug habit.

However, most programmes were implemented for a short while and were not well co-ordinated, leading to low effectiveness, especially among migrant workers, Hue admitted.

She called for setting up an agency to co-ordinate the various programmes.

Nguyen Ngoc Thach, head of the city Social Evils Prevention Division, said most migrant workers were ignorant of precautions required to prevent HIV/ AIDS while many employers do not have programmes to disseminate information about HIV/AIDS prevention.

In the first six months of this year 262 people died of the disease. — VNS

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