Increase in drug, prostitution related cases

Although the numbers of HIV/ AIDS infected people has slumped, drug and prostitution related cases are showing an upward trend, according to an online review of the anti-HIV/AIDS mission in 2012 run by the National Committee on Aids, Drugs and Prostitution Control on March 5.

The Ministry of Health said that by 2012 the country had 210,703 live HIV-infected people of which 63,372 people had succumbed to the disease, a year-on-year decline by 26 percent and 53 percent in fatal deaths.

The health sector however acknowledges that these figures   are not always sustainable.

The health sector is also concerned with the fact that more people have contracted HIV through sexual activities, while mother-to-child transmission and transfusions of contaminated blood account for the remaining infectious cases.

In addition, the rate of newly HIV-infected people has risen to the 30-39 age groups. Accordingly, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, has warned against unsafe sexual contact.

Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong, Deputy Minister of Public Security, said the number of criminals using drugs has increased. Police forces have handled more than 21,000 drug-related cases and arrested 31,000 criminals and seized nearly 692 kilograms of heroin, 225 kilograms of opium, more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, hundreds of thousands of other drugs and destroyed  37.8 hectares of cannabis sativa plantation.

The country has more than 171,000 drug addicts now, a year-on-year increase of 12,900 people.

Prostitution is also showing an increasing trend with 30,000 people self-employed as sex workers in the country.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Committee on AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Control, has asked related agencies to strengthen counter measures to tackle criminals and achieve better results in the fight against drugs, prostitution and HIV/AIDS transmission.

By K. Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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