PrEP is considered a breakthrough prevention method (Photo: VietnamPlus)

– Over 12,000 people nationwide have registered to use Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) service since its launch in 2017, helping to control HIV infections in the community, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The PrEP programme has been expanded to 27 provinces and cities nationwide, with appropriate adjustments made to better meet the needs of the target group.Vietnam is on the right track to eliminate AIDS by 2030.

PrEP available in 27 provinces, cities

Over 12,000 peoplenationwide have registered to use PrEP service since the programme was launched in Vietnam in 2017. PrEP for HIV prevention was expanded to 15 more provinces and cities from November 2019, making the service available in 27 localities nationwide with the support of the US Government, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Vietnamese Government.HIV infections.

Transgender people are the main beneficiaries of PrEP service. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

USAID to maintain support for PrEP programme in VietnamVAAC deputy head Phan Thi Thu Huong said the agency has flexibly applied many solutions to ensure that the target group could continue to access essential health services, including PrEP in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme’s success to date has relied on intense demand generation campaigns and diversified offerings, such as the newly introduced event-driven PrEP (ED PrEP) option for men who have sex with men (MSM) and  PrEP availability at a range of clinics – public, private and key population-led and owned community clinics, she noted.  

ED PrEP is an effective PrEP dosage approach that offers additional choice, flexibility and convenience to MSM. It was approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in July 2019 and is now included in Vietnam’s revised PrEP guidelines.

ED PrEP offers an option to MSM to take PrEP only when they are at risk of HIV, rather than taking it every day.

Ritu Singh, Director of USAID Vietnam Health Office (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Ritu Singh, Director of USAID Vietnam Health Office affirmed the commitment to supporting VAAC and partners in introducing new prevention strategies backed by reliable scientific evidence to ensure that PrEP clients get the support they need to stay on PrEP.

USAID looks forward to continuing partnership with Vietnam to realise this important work, she added.

The national PrEP programme has been developed on the basis of global best practices and studies on the demand of the target group.