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Cablegate: Hiv/Aids in Vietnam: Usg Increases

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2001HANOI02814 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ6932

PAGE 01 HANOI 02814 01 OF 02 260900Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 CTME-00
DODE-00 ITCE-00 SRPP-00 EB-00 EXME-00 E-00 UTED-00
HHS-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 NSAE-00 OES-01 OMB-01
OPIC-01 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /005W
------------------35B812 260901Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4517
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
DIA WASHDC
DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD
CDRTAMC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002814

SIPDIS

AID FOR AID/ANE FERRARA

BANGKOK ALSO FOR RMO DR. PENNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KHIV TBIO EAID VM HIV AIDS
SUBJECT: HIV/AIDS IN VIETNAM: USG INCREASES
FINANCIAL/TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR HIV/AIDS FIGHT
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02814 01 OF 02 260900Z

--------------------------------------------- ---
USG-VIETNAM INCREASE ENGAGEMENT ON HEALTH ISSUES
--------------------------------------------- ---

1. IN A SIGNIFICANT BROADENING OF USG-GVN ENGAGEMENT ON
HEALTH ISSUES, THE CHARGE AND VICE MINISTER OF HEALTH TRAN
CHI LIEM SIGNED AN AGREEMENT ON OCTOBER 23 TO PROVIDE $2
MILLION TO THE HEALTH MINISTRY TO EXPAND ITS HIV/AIDS
PREVENTION, CARE AND TREATMENT PROGRAMS. FROM THE CDC GLOBAL
AIDS PROGRAM, THE FUNDS COVER THE FIRST YEAR OF A PROJECT
THAT WILL CONTINUE FOR FIVE YEARS, TOTALING MORE THAN $10
MILLION. THE FUNDING WILL GO TO SUPPORT A WIDE RANGE OF
HIV/AIDS PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES INCLUDING PEER EDUCATION,
VOLUNTARY COUNSELING AND TESTING, PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF
OTHER SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS, TUBERCULOSIS DIAGNOSIS
AND TREATMENT, AND RELATED TRAINING. CDC HAS ALSO ASSIGNED
TECHNICAL ADVISORS TO ASSIST THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH IN
PLANNING, IMPLEMENTING AND EVALUATING THE PROGRAM. THE
EXPANDED PROGRAM BUILDS ON THE TRAINING AND OPERATIONAL
RESEARCH THAT CDC HAS BEEN PROVIDING TO THE VIETNAM AIDS
PROGRAM SINCE 1999.

2. TWENTY-FOUR COUNTRIES IN ASIA, AFRICA, AND THE AMERICAS
ARE NOW ELIGIBLE FOR THE CDC GLOBAL AIDS PROGRAM, INCLUDING
VIETNAM, WHICH BECAME ELIGIBLE IN 2001, ALONG WITH THAILAND
AND CAMBODIA.

3. IN ADDITION TO CDC/HHS SUPPORT FOR THE COMBAT AGAINST
HIV/AIDS, USAID ALSO CARRIES OUT AN EXTENSIVE ANTI-HIV/AIDS
EFFORT. USAID HAS BEEN FUNDING HIV/AIDS EDUCATION AND
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02814 01 OF 02 260900Z
PREVENTION ACTIVITIES THROUGH ITS NGO PARTNERS OVER THE PAST
FOUR YEARS. USAID'S CURRENT PROGRAM TOTALS APPROXIMATELY $2
MILLION PER YEAR FOR A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES WITH A NUMBER OF
NGO PARTNERS. USAID IS FUNDING FAMILY HEALTH INTERNATIONAL
(FHI) TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE HIV/AIDS PREVENTION PROGRAMS
IN FOUR PROVINCES INCLUDING DROP-IN CENTERS FOR INJECTION
DRUG USERS (IDUS) AND COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS AND EXTENSIVE
BEHAVIOR CHANGE COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGNS. IN ADDITION, FHI IS
IMPLEMENTING BEHAVIORAL SURVEILLANCE SURVEYS IN FIVE
PROVINCES TO TRACK BEHAVIOR CHANGES IN HIGH-RISK POPULATIONS
SUCH AS IDUS AND SEX WORKERS. USAID FUNDS CONDOM SOCIAL
MARKETING THROUGH DKT INTERNATIONAL IN SIX PROVINCES. USAID
HAS INITIATED A GRANT TO THE NGO NETWORKS FOR HEALTH PROJECT
TO BEGIN AN HIV/AIDS PREVENTION INITIATIVE IN LAO CAI
PROVINCE WITH THE ETHNIC MINORITY POPULATION. THIS ACTIVITY
FOCUSES ON YOUTH WORKERS IN TOURISM AND MINING. FINALLY,
USAID IS ABOUT TO BEGIN TWO NEW ACTIVITIES: A $300,000 STUDY
ON STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION TO BE CARRIED OUT BY THE
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON WOMEN (ICRW), AND A
POLICY DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY FOCUSING ON PEOPLE LIVING WITH
AIDS, THROUGH THE FUTURES GROUP'S POLICY PROJECT.

4. IN EARLY OCTOBER, MORE THAN 100 VIETNAMESE PARTICIPATED
IN THE SIXTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON AIDS AND THE PACIFIC
(ICAAP) IN MELBOURNE. THE VIETNAMESE DELEGATION INCLUDED THE
MINISTER OF HEALTH, 25 PARTICIPANTS SPONSORED BY USAID, AND
10 SPONSORED BY CDC.

-------------------
HIV/AIDS IN VIETNAM
-------------------
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02814 01 OF 02 260900Z

5. ACCORDING TO A RECENT GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE, VIETNAM
HAS DETECTED 39,845 HIV INFECTED PEOPLE AS OF OCTOBER 1.
HOWEVER, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 107,000 PEOPLE ARE LIVING WITH
HIV/AIDS. AMONG THEM, 5,955 HAVE DEVELOPED FULL-BLOWN AIDS
AND 3,247 DIED. THE LARGEST NUMBERS OF HIV-INFECTED PERSONS
AND AIDS PATIENTS ARE FOUND IN QUANG NINH PROVINCE, AND THE
CITIES OF HAIPHONG, HANOI, AND HO CHI MINH CITY. ALL 61
PROVINCES HAVE REPORTED HIV/AIDS CASES.

-------
COMMENT
-------

6. VIETNAM HAS EXPERIENCED A MARKED INCREASE IN HIV
INFECTION. DRUG INJECTION, LONG A PROBLEM IN VIETNAM, HAS
CONTRIBUTED TO THE EXPLOSIVE EPIDEMIC GROWTH. HIV INFECTION
AMONG IDUS NOW EXCEEDS 50% IN HO CHI MINH CITY AND HAIPHONG.
THERE ARE ALARMING LINKAGES BETWEEN DRUG USERS AND OTHER
POPULATIONS, PARTICULARLY SEX WORKERS. NEARLY A QUARTER OF
IDUS IN HANOI AND OVER A FIFTH IN DA NANG SAID THAT THEY HAD
BOUGHT SEX IN THE PAST YEAR, AND MOST DID NOT USE CONDOMS.
THIS CLEARLY REPRESENTS A WORRYING POTENTIAL FOR THE WIDER
SPREAD OF HIV TO SEX WORKERS AND THEIR CLIENTS.

7. THERE ARE POSITIVE SIGNS THAT THE VIETNAMESE DELEGATION'S
ATTENDANCE AT THE ICAAP IN MELBOURNE HAS HELPED STRENGTHEN
THE HAND OF THOSE IN THE GVN WHO ARGUE THAT HARM REDUCTION
EFFORTS (SUCH AS NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS) AND OTHER PUBLIC
HEALTH APPROACHES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING HIV/AIDS
THAN THE CURRENT OFFICIAL GVN MENTALITY, WHICH TREATS
HIV/AIDS AS A "SOCIAL EVIL" AND HAS HAMPERED THE FIGHT
AGAINST THE DISEASE.
PORTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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