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Regarding US President George Bush's decision to include Vietnam in the list of countries eligible for receiving assistance from the US-sponsored global anti-HIV/AIDS Program


ANSWER TO CORRESPONDENT BY MR. LE DZUNG, THE SPOKESMAN
 OF THE VIETNAMESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON 24th JUNE 2004


Reuters:  What is Vietnam’s reaction to the announcement that US is including in its 15 billion USD AIDS funding program?


Answer:

Vietnam welcomes US President George Bush's decision to include Vietnam in the list of countries eligible for receiving assistance from the US-sponsored global anti-HIV/AIDS Program. This demonstrates the cooperation endeavor of nations in the fight against the century epidemic.  HIV/AIDS is a dangerous epidemic, threatening human health and life. Its adverse consequences have by no means been confined to a nation or a continent but affected the entire globe.

HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities have been implemented vigorously in Vietnam. Vietnam has actively accomplished its national and international commitments to HIV/AIDS prevention and control. With the efforts by the Government, the participation of the entire society and international cooperation, we have constrained the pace of HIV/AIDS infection in the country.

In order to make HIV/AIDS prevention activities more effective, control the spread of the epidemic and mitigate its impacts, on 17th March 2004, Vietnam's Prime Minister signed Decision No.36/2004/QD-TTg that approves the National Strategy on HIV /AIDS Prevention and Control till 2010 with the Vision to 2020.


Vietnam has signed major international documents and conventions related to HIV/AIDS such as the Millennium Declaration signed by 189 Heads of State in September 2000. Vietnam has also joined the Declaration on Commitment on HIV/AIDS in the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on HIV/AIDS in June 2001. Vietnam has cooperated closely with neighboring and regional countries on HIV/AIDS prevention and control.


Regarding HIV/AIDS spread in Vietnam, the first HIV infection case was found in December 1990. By 31 December 2003, 76,180 HIV-infected people had been reported across the country, of whom 11,659 were full-blown AIDS patients and 6,550 died of AIDS. In 2003, it was estimated that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Vietnam was 0.23% of the total population. Vietnam's target is to control HIV/AIDS infection in the community at the rate of below 0.3% by 2010 with no increase after 2010.


International cooperation plays an especially important role in our HIV/AIDS prevention and control program. International organizations and foreign governments have provided considerable supports to HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities in Vietnam. With the aid of US$ 3.6 million of the Japanese Government, 10 southern provinces and cities have been supplied with basically adequate equipment. The British Government has committed to provide a non-refundable aid of US$ 25 million in the 2003-2007 period. The governments of Germany, Australia, the US and Luxembourg have supplied financial support for HIV/AIDS prevention and control activities. Vietnam and the US have three big HIV/AIDS prevention cooperation programs provided by US Government assistance channeled through USAID with the total amount of US$ 29 million. The UN organization and non-governmental organizations have provided capital and technical supports to the HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs. The aid sources and cooperation programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and control have been considered efficient and help enhance awareness and implementation of effective measures in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, thus making important contribution to the cause of preventing, controlling and pushing back HIV/AIDS in Vietnam.

 
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