VWU and “the greater role of people living with HIV/AIDS”

The Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) and the United Nations Country Team in Viet Nam on 21 February 2006 launched a major joint project to promote greater involvement of people living with HIV in HIV/AIDS programmes in the country.

Ten United Nations Volunteers have been recruited for implementing the three-year project’s initial activities.


The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) project has been developed in support of the National Strategy o­n HIV/AIDS and is approved by Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem. The US$-667,000 project is supported by donors like BMZ (Germany), the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme’s Special Voluntary Fund, PEPFAR (USA), and AusAID (Australia).


Eight UN Volunteers from Viet Nam and two International UN Volunteers – some of them living with HIV – have already been recruited and are enthusiastically preparing for the first project activities. Jesper Morch, acting UN Resident Coordinator, and UNICEF Country Representative, said: "This project provides the services of UN Volunteers to be a bridge between the existing HIV/AIDS activities and the community. And we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with the Viet Nam Women’s Union through this important project."


The volunteers, with technical support from UNV programme and UNAIDS, will work closely with VWU at various levels and act as organizers and peer educators for different activities. These activities will involve people living with HIV/AIDS in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City.


Viet Nam’s National Strategy o­n HIV/AIDS recognizes the important contribution of people living with HIV and their families in AIDS prevention and control efforts. "Involving people living with HIV/AIDS and their families is the key to addressing this epidemic in Viet Nam," said Madame Truong Thi Khue, VWU vice-president.


"Although it takes a huge effort, people living with HIV/AIDS know they can lead healthy and meaningful lives, while contributing to their families and society. Everyone needs to understand that being infected by HIV/AIDS is not the end of life. With treatment, care and support, people can live well with HIV/AIDS," she added. "Together we can make a better life for all."


The project has five main components: training and support for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS; helping them access treatment and other services; reducing stigma and discrimination; promoting understanding and support of GIPA, and providing opportunities for voluntary participation of people living with HIV/AIDS.


"For the first time in Viet Nam, people living with HIV/AIDS can participate in the deployment and management of a large-scale project that provides care for them. This participation will help the project address our real needs of the people living with HIV/AIDS," said Pham Thi Hue, former leader of the Hoa Phuong Do self-help group in Hai Phong, and a UN Volunteer since 2005. Hue has become a nationally known person living openly with HIV/AIDS. She was named by the Time magazine as o­ne of the 20 Asian Heroes under age 40.


Over the past decade, VWU has become o­ne of the strong mass organizations involved in HIV/AIDS work, and particularly in speaking out against stigma and discrimination. VWU and the UN are jointly managing this project, along with other HIV/AIDS-related work, including promoting gender equality, reproductive health, capacity development; family life and parenthood education; and issues around domestic violence.


For more information, please contact:


In Vietnamese:


Nguyen Thi Binh
Vietnam Women’s Union
Tel: 04.972 0056/971 5034
E-mail: chamsocsk@yahoo.com


Mr. Tran Nam Anh
United Nations Volunteers
Tel: 04-9421495 Ext.: 185
E-mail: tran.nam.anh@undp.org


Ms. Le Thu Ha
Tel: 04- 734 2824
Mobile:0913 238 279
E-mail: ha@unaids.org.vn


In English:

Ms. Nancy Fee
UNAIDS Country Coordinator
Tel: 04- 734 2824
Mobile:0913 21 4391

Hoai Linh - International Relation Department