USAID accelerates efforts to end AIDS in Viet Nam
VGP - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partner, PATH, celebrated the completion of the eight-year USAID/PATH Healthy Markets project and launched the new five-year USAID/PATH STEPS project at an event held in Ha Noi on June 14.
The US$20.7 million USAID/PATH Healthy Markets project, funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, ran from 2014 to 2021.
Through the project, USAID and PATH worked with the Ministry of Health's Viet Nam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) to generate sustainable approaches for increasing investment in, demand for, and supply of transformational HIV-related goods and services.
USAID/PATH Healthy Markets was a key partner to the Ministry of Health on its introduction and scale-up of new and innovative approaches like HIV community-based testing, self-testing, and pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP-three key services that contributed to a 57 percent reduction in new HIV infections over the past decade.
HIV self-test kits are now widely available through pharmacies and e-commerce, community-based testing services are being offered in 33 of Viet Nam's 63 provinces, and PrEP has been scaled to 29 provinces.
Through Healthy Markets–supported models alone, nearly 218,000 people were tested for HIV in the community and 8,986 people newly diagnosed with HIV were enrolled on lifesaving treatment. In addition, more than 46,000 HIV self-test kits were distributed and 16,700 people enrolled on PrEP, an oral pill that effectively prevents HIV infection when taken as prescribed.
Through Healthy Markets, Viet Nam's first-ever key population–led social enterprises and clinics were established and grown, and key population health providers were equipped with tools and skills to deliver integrated, person-centered HIV and primary health care services.
Today, hundreds of key population–led organizations are at the forefront of cutting-edge HIV service delivery and demand creation in the country.
The project mobilized more than US$12.6 million in investment into the national HIV response by facilitating deep shared-value partnerships with more than 150 private-sector partners, including HIV goods manufacturers and suppliers, distributors and retailers, community service providers, and multimedia companies.
Addressing the event, Deputy Mission Director, USAID/Viet Nam Bradley Bessire said that, over the past eight years, USAID support addressed critical gaps in accessible, affordable, community-based HIV care while strengthening the domestic market for HIV-related goods and services.
At today's event, USAID also announced STEPS, a new five-year, US$15 million project in partnership with PATH and its core partner, Glink Viet Nam, to maintain the momentum of Healthy Markets and catalyze greater HIV- and primary health care-related market growth.
The next project will focus on ensuring sustainability of our collective progress and addressing key remaining gaps to ultimately help Viet Nam achieve its commitment to end AIDS by 2030, Bessire noted./.