The principal aim of the Vietnam Country Program (CP) is to reduce the spread of HIV associated with drug use among men and women in the program’s target provinces: Hoa Binh, Tuyen Quang and Bac Can in northern Vietnam.
The CP’s aims will be achieved through the establishment of a comprehensive package of services for injecting drug users including:
- strengthening and expansion of existing harm reduction services including needle and syringe exchange programs, condom provision, voluntary counselling and testing, behaviour change
- referral to primary health care services and antiretroviral provision
- and, once capacity and legal requirements are met, methadone maintenance therapy.
The program will work in communities and closed settings, such as detoxification centres and prisons in the program’s three currently under-serviced provinces. In addition, the CP aims to strengthen Vietnam’s multisectoral approach to management and delivery of harm reduction interventions involving health, law enforcement and social affairs agencies. It will build capacity at central and provincial levels to better deliver integrated services and manage a comprehensive service model.
The Vietnam CP will also develop and strengthen civil society groups through an Innovation Fund that provides small grants for advocacy, research, job creation and micro-credit, peer networking and self help groups, and anti-stigma measures and campaigns.
The objectives of the Vietnam CP are:
- improved coordination and harmonisation of national and donor supported programs, including at the provincial level as outlined in the Hanoi Core Statement.
- establishment of a comprehensive package of services for IDUs in selected provinces in Vietnam.
- increased understanding, technical and management capacity of those engaged in harm reduction interventions in order to deliver effective programs.
The Vietnam CP will operate through Government of Vietnam systems at the central and provincial levels and will emphasis a multisectoral approach to delivery and management of program activities.
The Vietnam CP will partner with the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) of the Ministry of Health, the Standing Office of Drugs Control (SODC) of the Ministry of Public Security and the Department for the Prevention of Social Evils (DSEP) of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). These three ministries will be represented on a Program Steering Committee, along with AusAID as co-chair of the committee. The Steering Committee will be the primary governance mechanism for the Vietnam CP.
At provincial level the Vietnam CP will work with the AIDS Prevention Department of the Department of Health and with the Department of Public Security and the MOLISA to deliver coordinated harm reduction program activities.
In addition the Vietnam CP, through the Innovation Fund, will partner with community based organisations, mass organisations such as the Women's Union and Farmer's Union, local and international NGOs, and informal user and peer groups to deliver community based programs in support of harm reduction.