Ministry urges more HIV/AIDS patients to have health insurance

The Ministry of Health April 15 held a seminar over the health insurance for HIV/AIDS patients in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meanwhile more fresh HIV/AIDS patients were reported and international aids sources were cut, treatment for these special patient faced difficulties.

Accordingly the Ministry requested locality authorities to encourage more HIV/ AIDS patients to buy medical insurance.

Currently the number of HIV/AIDS patients having medical insurance is low. Dong Van Ngoc from the Department of Health in HCMC said that since medical clinics to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy to patients have provided consultation of purchasing health insurance to HIV/ AIDS people, just 40 percent of them have agreed to buy insurance.

By the end of 2015, the city had 33 medical clinics to provide ARV treatment in a bid to reduce medical cost for people living with HIV. Yet, ARV drug from international aids will not be provided gratis any more; hence, patients must pay for the drug meanwhile most of HIV/AIDS patients come from low-income families ; they can not afford purchasing the drug in a long time, Deputy head of the department Nguyen Huu Hung said.

To increase the number of HIV/AIDS patients with health insurance, the Ministry asked medical clinics to re-arrange their activities to meet insurance requirements. 

Since the first case of HIV infection had been discovered in December, 1990, the city reported 41,931 cases including 10,997 fatalities. The rate of People living with HIV in the city is 30,934. By the end of 2015, medical clinics in the city provided dry AMD treatment for 27,350 people including 19,000 people with permanent address in the city.

A study showed that drug addicts, female prostitutes and homosexual people  are most vulnerable to the disease with the rate of 16.7 percent; 3.7 percent; and 12.7 percent respectively. Worse, the proportion of transmission through sexual activities accounted for 57.5 percent; and through mother-to-chil transmission for 41.3 percent. It is estimated that in 2016 and 2017, around 12,000-14,000 fresh HIV patients will be reported.

BY STAFF WRITER - TRANSLATED BY UYEN PHUONG

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