PPP focus urged as HIV/AIDS aid drops

More public-private partnerships (PPP) are needed to ensure the sustainability of HIV-prevention efforts, as the international donor fund for HIV response in Vietnam is dropping dramatically.

Phan Thi Thu Huong, the deputy general director of the Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention, said that external donors had been the primary source of funding for HIV-response programmes in Viet Nam.

Speaking at a workshop held yesterday in HCM City, Huong said it was essential to find alternative sources of funds to maintain HIV-related goods and services and prevent transmission of disease.

The government of Vietnam has a strong commitment to engage the private sector to invest in the HIV goods and services market, she said.

Linkages between the private sector and State-owned agencies for HIV/AIDS response would help create public-private partnerships (PPP), a form of funding that has been developing in the country.

Dau Anh Tuan, director of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's legal department, said that revenue sources for social security policies must be secured.

He said that PPP development was hindered by health regulatory agencies' lack of experience in attracting private investment.

The workshop, which was organised by Healthy Markets (HM), an initiative funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by PATH International, was an opportunity for national experts and private sector representatives to discuss obstacles faced by the private sector.

The five-year initiative aims to create a viable commercial market for HIV-related goods and services, including condoms, lubricants, needles and syringes, and HIV testing capable of meeting the needs of populations facing the greatest risks.