About PEPFAR Vietnam
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supports the national HIV/AIDS response in Vietnam through service delivery, technical assistance and health systems strengthening. PEPFAR encourages the principles for joint collaboration that are aimed at restoring responsibility of the HIV/AIDS response to Vietnam and promoting long-term sustainability. PEPFAR further coordinates with health development partners including The Global Fund, to promote high levels of collaboration across all partners engaged in Vietnam’s HIV/AIDS response.
Under the leadership of Ambassador Marc E. Knapper, PEPFAR in Vietnam is implemented by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, and Department of State.
As a focus country in the initial emergency phase of PEPFAR, the U.S. Government quickly became the largest financer of Vietnam’s HIV response, with annual budget allocations increasing from $18M in 2004 to $98M in 2010. Historically, PEPFAR has purchased the majority of HIV commodities, including anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs and methadone; scaled up facility-based care and support, including human resource investments; provided technical support in policy, planning, implementation and evaluation; and built the capacity of civil society organizations and the private sector to provide HIV services and commodities outside of state institutions. The total PEPFAR investment in Vietnam has reached $900 million over the past two decades and the current annual budget is $37 million. On May 9, 2023, the U.S. Mission in Vietnam celebrated the 20th anniversary of PEPFAR with the Government of Vietnam and Ambassador Dr. John N Nkengasong, the Global HIV/AIDS Ambassador in Hanoi.
National HIV/AIDS Epidemic
There are currently about 250,000 people living with HIV in Vietnam. New infections ranges around 6,000 cases annually. Anti-retroviral treatment coverage has reached over 73 percent. The driving population of the epidemic in Vietnam is men having sex with men (MSM), and the prevalence among MSM who use drugs is even higher and the trend of younger MSM (under the age of 25) getting infected is increasing. Southern provinces are contributing 70% of new HIV cases in Vietnam, especially provinces in the Mekong River delta region.
The current program focuses on an aggressive plan to achieve success in two key program objectives: (1) scale-up to 95-95-95 in the 11 PEPFAR Surge provinces of the Northern Economic Zone and Ho Chi Minh City Metro regions; and (2) ensure a sustainable transition of primary financial, administrative, and technical responsibility of HIV care and treatment services to the Government of Vietnam.
More than 172,000 people in Vietnam are receiving life-saving antiretroviral drugs among an estimated 250,000 people living with HIV nationwide. The PEPFAR Vietnam program works to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response to accelerate progress toward the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic.
In the 12 months until March 31, 2023, the PEPFAR Vietnam program supported the enrollment of 8,856 new antiretroviral therapy patients, retained 91,458 on treatment, and helped to achieve 98% viral suppression in 11 surge provinces in the Northern Economic Zone and the Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Region.
PEPFAR has successfully laid the groundwork for the Government of Vietnam to fund and lead the implementation of its own HIV response, and strategically engaged the private sector and civil-society organizations to bring HIV services closer to the community and foster self-reliance. The Government of Vietnam has taken responsibility for funding and administrating many components of HIV treatment, including paying for all HIV treatment services and drugs. As of the end of June 2023, PEPFAR continued providing technical assistance to bring more than 155,000 patients on antiretroviral treatment under social health insurance including 128,000 on TLD.
Starting in 2017, PEPFAR has worked with community-based organizations and NGO partners to address HIV-related stigma and to jointly incorporate U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable), K=K in Vietnamese, messaging into treatment and prevention programs that empowered people living with and affected by HIV with the knowledge that they could not transmit the virus if they were on effective treatment and maintained undetectable viral load. Vietnam was the first country within PEPFAR globally to endorse and utilize U=U messaging to support key treatment goals. Vietnam’s innovation in U=U has been shared as a best practice for use in PEPFAR programs globally.
In fiscal year 2023, the PEPFAR program continues supporting expansion and diversification of HIV related services for key populations and will put 18,000 new HIV-negative people who are at high risk of transmission on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
For more information:
PEPFAR Coordination Office
Tung Shing Square, 2 Ngo Quyen, 7/F