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VCSPA Annual Meeting 2011
Ngày 24 tháng 10 năm 2018
More than 200 delegates from PLHIV and other vulnerable communities (sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men etc), community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations from 40 provinces had participated in the Annual Meeting 2011 of the Vietnam Civil Society Partnership Platform on AIDS in Da Nang from 26th – 28thJuly.
Many experts working many years in the field of HIV/AIDS had participated in the meeting such as Dr. Ngo Thi Kim Yen, Deputy Director of Da Nang Health Department; Dr. Chu Quoc an, Deputy Minister of the Vietnam Administration on AIDS Control (Ministry of Health); Mr. Eamonn Murphy, UNAIDS Country Director; Mr. Francis Donovan, Director of USAID Vietnam; Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Execute Director of the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives – chair of VCSPA etc.
The issues around HIV had been discussed including Communication strategy and advocacy for MSM-TG; Primary sexual partners of PLHIV and people who use drugs; HIV and Tuberculosis; Treatment failure and drug resistance; Sexual health for MSM and sex workers; Resource mobilization; Advocate for service usage/outreach to high risk populations etc .
The participation of over 200 delegates from 40 provinces across the country has contributed to the success of VCSPA Annual meeting.
At the meeting, the members shared their own stories proving their strength and maturity. Many community-based organizations despite hardship had tried to create job opportunities for PLHIV thus helping them to be more economically independent, improve their quality of life, social integration, reduce or stop their risk behaviors. For instance, Cuộc sống mới – a CBO in Ho Chi Minh city implemented a program “Job Orientation Counseling and Job Seeking Support for PLHIV and key populations” to meet the needs of these groups. Vì ngày mai tươi sáng – another CBO in Hanoi shared their story of establishing a stationery store named Future, which after 2 years had had a gross profit of 100 million vnd/month. Về Nhà Coalition – Hanoi also introduced their model of “Creating income for vulnerable populations” which had supported 150 people with the total loan of 103 million vnd. Sống tích cực – Hai Phong developed a economic model for families of “Raising and selling chickens” with 8 households learnt and developed this model, with income of more than 7 million vnd for one brood.
“For the last 14 years my son had never cared for anything but drugs, but now if just one chicken was ill, he would be very worried… Looking at my son’s family being so happy I had more strength to continue my life”, the joy of the mother of one member had spoken for all.
Dr. Nguyen Thu An, Director of HIV in the workplace program, Chemonics reaffirmed: “PLHIV having a job is possible. Why shouldn’t you be confident and have a better life. Opportunities are all around you”.
Dr. Chu Quoc An, Deputy Director of VAAC said “I hope all of you, people who are living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, have the will and strength to stop this epidemic. Walk together with VAAC to the end of this fight against HIV/AIDS.” He also said that up to this June, there are 190,902 PLHIV, 46,056 people at AIDS stage and 50,108 deaths due to AIDS in the country. However, compare to last this, the incident had decreased considerably.
Dr. Emonn Murphy – UNAIDS Country Director said “the last 20 years, we has had great efforts in HIV/AIDS harm reduction. In the past 5 years of working in Vietnam, I realized the great change and efforts from you despite the hardship of your work. You are the seeds that grows in life and have helped many vulnerable groups. Your works are noble and honorable. I would like to see better linkage between you and the Platform and to help each other work better”.
VCSPA 2011 – 2012 what are the priorities?
By the end of 2011, when Vietnam becomes a middle-income country and donors will start to withdraw, international NGO may close its office or cut their programs, Vietnamese NGO may not be able to seek funding from international etc. Some PLHIV groups may no longer have funding and economic difficulties may make people unable to join voluntary works. These are all the challenges of VCSPA for 2011 – 2012. The Platform will continue to focus on developing community members of high-risk populations such as People who use drugs, Primary sexual partner of PLHIV, MSM and Transgender people etc especially at “white” areas like Vinh Phuc, Son La, Dak Lak and Ben Tre.
Summary from KC group