Positive results seen in transition of financial resources for HIV/AIDS fight

Encouraging results have been recorded in the transition of financial resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Vietnam over the last 10 years, heard a conference in Hanoi on November 23.

On October 15, 2012, the Prime Minister issued a decision approving a plan on ensuring finance for anti-HIV/AIDS activities for the 2013 - 2020 period.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said HIV/AIDS prevention and control is the only medical programme in Vietnam to have a particular decision made by the PM to give guidance on finance guaranteeing mechanism. The plan created an important legal corridor for taking measures to ensure sustainable funding for the HIV/AIDS fight.

Thanks to the strong political commitment of all-level administrations, the close coordination in policy making among ministries and sectors, as well as technical and financial support from sponsors, Vietnam has reaped many impressive results during the transition of financial resources for the work, she noted.

The proportion of domestic financial sources has risen to over 51%. In particular, localities’ allocation of their budgets for HIV/AIDS prevention and control has continually increased, from 8% to nearly 17% during 2012 - 2020.

The health insurance fund is a breakthrough step in the anti-HIV/AIDS programme in Vietnam as 95% of the HIV-infected persons have been covered by health insurance, doubling in five years, Huong said, adding that the fund pays an annual average of VND400 billion (US$16 million), including about VND200 billion for medical check-ups and treatment and the rest for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

The proportion of the fund to total spending on HIV/AIDS has increased to 9% from 4%, accounting for 25% of domestic resources for the HIV combat.

Through the national programme on HIV/AIDS prevention and control and the anti-HIV/AIDS project under the national health care and population target programme, allocations from the central budget for provinces and cities in this regard have made up nearly 10%. The share of other private sources has also reached 8%, according to the official.

However, Huong also pointed out difficulties facing Vietnam in the transition of financial resources for the HIV/AIDS combat. For example, resources set to be mobilised during 2021 - 2030 have met just 60 - 70% of demand, the number of HIV-infected persons has increased in the last three years, and nearly 50% of the funding for anti-HIV/AIDS activities still depends on international projects.