Just over a quarter of a million people are living with HIV in Vietnam. As in much of East Asia, injecting drug use is a key driver of the epidemic. UNAIDS estimates that there are 271,506 people who inject drugs in Vietnam.
We work with The Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) in Vietnam to support people most affected by HIV – including people who inject drugs and sex workers – to be part of the HIV response. In 2017, SCDI reached 25,270 people from key populations with prevention activities.
Their work includes needle and syringe programmes (they reached 13,990 people in 2017) - which are vital in preventing the transmission of HIV in Vietnam - and care and support for people living with HIV. SCDI also supports self-help groups with mentoring and legal support, carries out research, and provides training and support for other community organisations working on HIV in Vietnam.
SCDI currently partners with the Alliance in PITCH, a programme that focuses on advocacy as a way to empower vulnerable populations and strengthen the capacities of local CSOs to respond to HIV. In 2017, SCDI and other civil society stakeholders maintained positive dialogues with the Department of Social Vices Prevention and Control (DSVP), contributing to the (slow) transit from a compulsory detention model to voluntary, community based addiction treatment in Vietnam.
In 2017, SCDI was also very involved in supporting the Vietnam Network of Transgender People (VNTG) to advocate for their rights and needs during the development process of the draft Law on Gender Affirmation. SCDI and the LGBT community are advocating for legal gender recognition that does not require sexual reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.