Media release 24 February 2006
Australia and Clinton Foundation Join in Vietnam Fight against HIV/AIDS
Hanoi- This week, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Alexander Downer announced a new partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation, which will strengthen Australia’s efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and China.
In Vietnam, AusAID and the Foundation will work together with the Ministry of Health to scale up treatment and care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Around A$4 million (approximately VND 48 billion) over four years will contribute to increasing the availability of important anti-retroviral drugs, training laboratory technicians and health care workers, rationalising laboratory systems, improving access to diagnostic and testing equipment, and building the capacity of local pharmaceutical companies for WHO pre-qualification.
One of the first activities under the new project will be to provide life-saving anti-retroviral drug treatment for 800 HIV positive children in Vietnam.
The Government of Vietnam estimates there are around 263,470 HIV positive people across the Nation today. It is projected there will be about 40,000 new HIV cases each year, unless a more comprehensive prevention and treatment program is put in place.
The United Nations estimates more than eight million people in the Asia Pacific region are living with HIV and that this figure will reach 20 million by 2010 - if we do not accelerate our response. A joint UN-Asian Development Bank study in 2001 puts economic losses relating to HIV/AIDS in the Asia Pacific at about A$10 billion, and forecasts annual financial losses of up to A$24 billion by 2010.
Through the government's partnership with the Clinton Foundation, the Australian response to the spread of HIV in the Asia Pacific Region is being greatly accelerated.
The Australian Government, through AusAID, provides A$72 million (approximately VND 864 billion) annually in grant aid to Vietnam.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Peter Mahomet
Asia Regional HIV/AIDS Program Manager
Australian Embassy, Hanoi
Tel: 04-831 7754 ext 128, Mob: 0913 321 174, firstname.lastname@example.org