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STATEMENT by His Excellency Mr. Le Hoai Trung Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on Agenda item 10 “Implementation of the Declaration of Commitments on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS” June 11
06-18-2012, 04:44 pm

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his comprehensive report on the Implementation of the Declaration of the Commitments on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.  Viet Nam aligns itself with the Statement made by distinguish representative of Cambodia on behalf of ASEAN.

Mr. President,

AIDS remains one of the great challenges of our times, as 34 million people are currently living with HIV around the world. During the High level Meeting on HIV/AIDS which was held in New York in June 2011, the international community reaffỉmed that HIV and AIDS as “a global emergency and one of the most formidable challenges to the development, progress and stability of our societies and the world at large” and thus embraced the vision of a world with zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. We share the view of the Secretary-General, as mentioned in his report, that the international community has cause for hope and optimism in the response as access to essential treatment and prevention services has increased, new infections and AIDS-related deaths are on the decline. However, the world is still far from meeting the targets set out in the Political Declarations on HIV/AIDS, when substantial access gaps still persist for key services, with especially difficult obstacles experienced by populations at higher risk. Therefore, we join efforts and shared responsibility of each and every member of the international community to scaling up towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support, and towards halting and reversing the spread of the pandemic by 2015, and thereby, call upon all stakeholders, especially developed countries to fulfill their commitments, to support national efforts to strengthen the response.

Mr. President,

          At the High-level Meeting on HIV/AIDS held here in New York last June, the Government of Viet Nam has renewed its determination in fighting against HIV/AIDS and adopted new targets by signing the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. Viet Nam takes these commitments seriously and has adopted concrete measures to realize. Just recently, Viet Nam has finalized the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to 2020 with a vision to 2030 which contains ambitious targets that echo those of the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. The National Assembly also passed a National Targeted Program on HIV 2011-2015, which, among others, secured more state budget for HIV activities. Another major development was the passing of Decree No. 69/2011/ND-CP dated 08/08/2011 on handling administrative violations in health prevention, the medical environment and HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

As the results of these policies and programs, Viet Nam has initially been able to contain the rise of HIV infection, with HIV infected people currently accounting for about 0.26% of the population. In concrete terms, the prevalence rate among injecting drug users declined from 30% in 2001 and 2002 to 17% in 2010; and the number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths has gone down from more than 6,000 a year to some 2,500 a year for the last two years. In 2011, 49 of 63 provinces had carried out community outreach activities for people/persons who injects drugs and female sex workers; 60 provinces implemented some level of needle and syringe program and 57 provinces distributed condoms free of charge. In addition, the national Methadone Maintenance Therapy program has been expanded to a total of 11 provinces and treats more than 6,900 people in 41 clinics, with an adherence rate of 96%. It is planned to continue to expand this service to 245 clinics in 30 provinces and 80,000 patients by 2015.

Despite these great efforts to address HIV, challenges still remain and hinder the implementation of HIV interventions, like overlapping policies and sets of measures, lack of personnel, health facilities, equipment and laboratories, and limited resources for sustainable programs. To address these challenges, Viet Nam will continue to, among other things, strengthen its political commitment on HIV, improve the legal framework and regulations, scale up efforts to ensure universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for all in need; ensure that HIV prevention and control are mainstreamed into the current system of health service provision, as well as into other sectors and national social-economic development programs.

I would like to end by expressing my sincere appreciation to all UN organizations and donors for their important ongoing work for the national response. Through our collective efforts, we are moving closer towards our shared goal of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.

I thank you Mr. President./.

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