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CDC Vietnam Program Snapshot CDC Supports First Society on Clinical HIV/AIDS in Vietnam HANOI – On June 7-8, the Vietnam Clinical HIV/AIDS Society (VCHAS) held its first meeting, at Hanoi’s International Conference Center. Attended by key stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, international organizations, national and provincial hospitals, and HIV/ AIDS centers, and frontline clinicians who deliver care to patients with HIV, the meeting marked the launch of Vietnam’s first professional, not-for-profit organization representing the country’s clinical HIV/AIDS sector. With support from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through the Harvard Medical School AIDS Initiative in Vietnam, as part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Society seeks to create a national forum open to all Vietnamese individuals and organizations working in Vietnam’s HIV/AIDS sector. In this forum members can share experiences, strengthen linkages, discuss relevant policies and guidelines, and keep up to date with the latest advances in HIV/AIDS care and treatment. “This society is among the first professional medical societies in Vietnam of any kind,” said CDC Country Director Dr. Bruce Struminger. “It will offer clinicians a collective voice for advocacy on behalf of their patients at the national level,” he said. “This gives them an opportunity to address and inform national policies and guidelines, helping ensure a high quality and continually improving standard of care for people living with HIV.”

Vice director of the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, Associate Professor Bui Duc Duong, talks about the critical issues facing clinicians working in HIV/AIDS in Vietnam at this landmark meeting.

VCHAS is modeled on other societies set up around the Asia-Pacific region by the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), which is providing technical assistance with PEPFAR financial support. Regional collaboration is critically important, and ASHM will facilitate opportunities through their network for VCHAS to tap into the experiences of similar HIV/AIDS professional societies across Southeast Asia. ASHM’s Dr. Duc Minh Nguyen says the Society helps shed light on “the vital role that healthcare workers play in HIV/AIDS” in both a clinical setting and in the wider community.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“VCHAS will develop a cadre of key local health providers with advanced HIV skills and leadership capacity in Vietnam,” he said. “It will also function as a mechanism that ensures sustainability of these skills and the workforce, and fosters HIV-related research and training endeavors.”

For more on our programs see: cdc.gov/globalhealth/ countries/vietnam

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