New strategy needed to improve HIV treatment quality

A new strategy should be applied in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, with a focus on early treatment in HIV-positive cases, ambulatory treatment, and extending treatment services to jails and remote and poor areas, said a Health Ministry official.

Illustrative Image (Source: At Home STD Tests)

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hoang Long, head of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, said that the strategy aims to improve the quality of HIV/AIDS treatment.

It is also part of efforts to fulfill the 90-90-90 target - 90 percent of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy achieving viral suppression.

It is also necessary to integrate HIV treatment into hospital systems, especially health care facilities in communes and wards to ensure treatment quality and reduce drug resistance.

Currently, only 172 out of 385 facilities have applied measures to improve the quality of treatment and care for HIV/AIDS patients, Long noted at a two-day conference to review five years of implementing a quality improvement programme on HIV/AIDS treatment that opened on February 21.

The quality improvement programme focuses on service provision, quality improvement and management. It began in 2012, aiming to ensure all facilities provide standardised services, give early access to ARV treatement and keep in better contact with patients. The programme has benefited more than 70,000 patients.

According to the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, more than 205,000 people are living with HIV across the country.

So far, 385 outpatient treatment facilities have been opened in 63 cities and provinces nationwide, while nearly 1,000 communes and wards have provided antiretroviral medicine and supported patients during the treatment, and 115,594 patients have received antiretroviral therapy.

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