MEDIA RELEASE: DEVELOPMENT
DATE: 28 April 2009
Australia helps Vietnam to support people affected by HIV
Women and children affected by HIV in Ha Noi and surrounding areas will have access to free counselling and support services from ‘Compassion House’, which has been officially opened today in Ha Dong District, Ha Noi by Australian Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Mr Bob McMullan, and President of the Vietnam Women’s Union, Madam Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa.
Compassion House, a Vietnam Women’s Union project, will receive A$250,000 from the Australian Government through AusAID, the Australian Agency for International Development.
“An increasing number of Vietnamese households are affected by HIV. Stigma and discrimination mean many people living with HIV are denied basic services. Compassion House responds to a real need in the community as women and children are particulary vulnerable to the impacts of HIV,” says Mr McMullan.
Run by community workers and local volunteers, Compassion House will provide free HIV prevention and care services for HIV affected women and children in Ha Noi. These include accommodation for people traveling to Ha Noi to access HIV treatment, counselling and social support for people living with HIV and their families, and HIV awareness raising activities for the community.
“The involvement of people living with HIVand civil society are essential elements of an effective response to HIV. I am pleased that Compassion House encourages strong community involvement in the development and delivery of its services,” Mr McMullan added.
The Compassion House opening is a key activity of the Australian Parliamentary Secretary’s official visit to Vietnam from 26 to 29 April, 2009.