First project to lift living conditions for HIV/AIDS affected elderly

The HelpAge International (HAI) and the Big Lottery Fund of Britain has launched the first ever project in Vietnam to improve the living conditions of the elderly who are affected by the global AIDS pandemic.

At the launching ceremony, Eduardo Klein, Chief Representative of HAI Asian-Pacific Office, said that the number of elderly affected by HIV/AIDS was increasing. Many elderly people, who at their age should rest, have to support their families because their children lost jobs due to AIDS or died of the disease.

Donors of the project said they hope that with the respectable voice of the elderly of the community, discrimination and unfair treatment toward HIV/AIDS affected people would be lessened.

The 1.2 million project to establish a community-based mechanism to mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam has been implemented in Ha Noi and Nam Dinh, Thai Nguyen and Quang Ninh provinces from October 2005-September 2009.

It also aims to provide improved health care to high-risk people such as drug addicts and prostitutes, and reduce the spread of the fatal disease.

Under the project, the elderly suffering from HIV/AIDS and their families will be helped to increase their incomes and access greater health care services at home and at local clinics.

The project will conduct social surveys, help organisations that work in controlling HIV/AIDS and its beneficiaries, and provide assistance to local clinics and rehabilitation centres.

It will also focus o­n improving people's awareness about how HIV/AIDS affects the elderly, and their role and contribution to caring for HIV carriers and orphaned children of HIV/AIDS carriers.

Nhan Dan