Making news

National U=U campaign launched to control HIV/AIDS

A national communication campaign named “undetectable equals untransmittable” (U=U, or Khong phat hien=Khong lay truyen K=K in Vietnamese) was launched in Hanoi on October 22 with the support of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U=U message is based on evidence which shows that HIV treatment is highly effective in reducing the transmission of HIV. People living with HIV on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy who have an undetectable level of HIV in their blood have a negligible risk of transmitting HIV sexually.

The campaign aims to raise the awareness of the public, people living with HIV and suppliers of HIV/AIDS prevention and control services about the message.

It encourages people living with HIV to access treatment services early, strictly follow treatment regiments and take regular tests for viral load, while easing discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Associate Prof. Nguyen Hoang Long, head of the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control under the Health Ministry, said nearly 140,000 patients in Vietnam are under the ARV treatment, and the U=U campaign is hoped to expand the coverage of treatment.

The campaign will be implemented at the central level, and in 11 major cities and provinces included in the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Through community-based events and social media activities, the campaign is expected to integrate the U=U message in the ARV treatment, the official said, adding that the message will be promoted in other localities within the National Action Month against HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day.

Long expressed his hope that Vietnam will achieve the 90-90-95 goal (90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained ARV therapy; 95 percent of all people receiving ARV therapy will have viral suppression) and control the disease with the U=U message.

The campaign will last from October till December this year.
The U=U message had been shared by 895 organisations in 98 countries as of July 30, 2019, and had been translated into 25 languages.

On September 6 this year, Vietnam was the first among beneficiary countries of PEPFAR to issue a document guiding national-scale communication activities on the U=U message.