Vietnam Takes a Major Step to Prevent HIV/AIDS

by Medindia Content Team on Aug 11 2006 4:10 AM

According to a report in the Thursday edition of a local newspaper, Vietnam News, inns are to be allowed to sell or distribute condoms for the first time in Vietnam.

As a measure to reduce risks, Vietnam will allow the sales and distribution of condoms under a law on HIV/AIDS slated to come into effect from Jan. 1, 2007. Presently, condom sales and distribution are not allowed in inns as prostitution has been reported in many of these inns.

Apart from the prostitutes and sex buyers, there are many couples who rent rooms at these inns, according to many local experts. They feel it is essential to legalize condom sales and distribution in these amenities so that they can avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

In recent years, approximately 39,000 new HIV infection cases are reported annually in Vietnam. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) reported this. At present, around 3,00,000 Vietnamese are affected by HIV/AIDS, most of them belonging to the high-risk group. This group comprises drug addicts, prostitutes and gays.

By 2010, Vietnam aims to reduce the HIV/AIDS infection rate among its 83-million population to below 0.3 percent and maintain it at that even after 2020.