A hidden HIV epidemic among women in Vietnam

Nguyen, Thu Anh; Oosterhoff, Pauline; Hardon, Anita; Tran, Hien Nguyen; Coutinho, Roel A.; Wright, Pamela
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p37
Academic Journal
Background: The HIV epidemic in Vietnam is still concentrated among high risk populations, including IDU and FSW. The response of the government has focused on the recognized high risk populations, mainly young male drug users. This concentration on one high risk population may leave other populations under-protected or unprepared for the risk and the consequences of HIV infection. In particular, attention to women's risks of exposure and needs for care may not receive sufficient attention as long as the perception persists that the epidemic is predominantly among young males. Without more knowledge of the epidemic among women, policy makers and planners cannot ensure that programs will also serve women's needs. Methods: More than 300 documents appearing in the period 1990 to 2005 were gathered and reviewed to build an understanding of HIV infection and related risk behaviors among women and of the changes over time that may suggest needed policy changes. Results: It appears that the risk of HIV transmission among women in Vietnam has been underestimated; the reported data may represent as little as 16% of the real number. Although modeling predicted that there would be 98,500 cases of HIV-infected women in 2005, only 15,633 were accounted for in reports from the health system. That could mean that in 2005, up to 83,000 women infected with HIV have not been detected by the health care system, for a number of possible reasons. For both detection and prevention, these women can be divided into sub-groups with different risk characteristics. They can be infected by sharing needles and syringes with IDU partners, or by having unsafe sex with clients, husbands or lovers. However, most new infections among women can be traced to sexual relations with young male injecting drug users engaged in extramarital sex. Each of these groups may need different interventions to increase the detection rate and thus ensure that the women receive the care they need. Conclusion: Women in Vietnam are increasingly at risk of HIV transmission but that risk is underreported and under-recognized. The reasons are that women are not getting tested, are not aware of risks, do not protect themselves and are not being protected by men. Based on this information, policymakers and planners can develop better prevention and care programs that not only address women's needs but also reduce further spread of the infection among the general population.


Related Articles

  • HIV, AIDS , AND DRUG ABUSE IN THE INTERNATIONAL SECTOR. Inciardi, James A.; Harrison, Lana D. // Journal of Drug Issues;Winter97, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p1 

    The article discusses the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among intravenous drug users. The spread of HIV/AIDS has been considered as both an epidemic (occurring in a specific geographical area) and a pandemic (an epidemic occurring in many parts of the world at the same time). The same goes with the...

  • Demographic Characteristics, Treatment History, Drug Risk Behaviors, and Condom Use Attitudes for U.S. and Russian Injection Drug Users: The Need for Targeted Sexual Risk Behavior Interventions. Ksobiech, Kate; Somlai, Anton M.; Kelly, Jeffrey A.; Gore-Felton, Cheryl; Benotsch, Eric; McAuliffe, Timothy; Hackl, Kristin; Ostrovski, Dmitri; Kozlov, Andrei P. // AIDS & Behavior;Mar2005, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p111 

    Two separate databases, one on Russian (n= 444) injection drug users (IDUs), and the other on U.S. IDUs (n= 241), were merged, and responses were compared. Results indicated that Russian IDUs perceived themselves to be at greater risk for HIV/AIDS based upon behaviors over the past 90 days. U.S....

  • Leading the way. GEST, JAYNE // Smart Business Columbus;Feb2014, Vol. 22 Issue 5, p9 

    The article offers information on the workings of the non-profit organization Tyler's Light. Topics discussed include reaching out to people and collaboration with more organizations, helping youth in living a drug free by revolting against drug abuse and comparison of drug addiction with the...

  • Stopping AIDS: Now is the Time to Prevent AIDS.  // AIDS Reader (Branden Publishing);1988, p158 

    The article discusses the need to prevent AIDS. Drug abuse and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome are two of the most critical public health problems receiving justified public attention in the U.S. Public health actions must be taken to prevent HIV infections and AIDS during the next decade....

  • The AIDS Epidemic among Spanish Drug Users: A Birth Cohort-Associated Phenomenon. Castilla, Jesús; Pollán, Marina; López-Abente, Gonzalo // American Journal of Public Health;May97, Vol. 87 Issue 5, p770 

    Objectives. In Spain the number of new acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases among injection drug users continues to rise. The time trend up to 1994 has been analyzed, with special attention paid to the different generations. Methods. The source for injection drug use--related cases...

  • First Model of One Stop Service for Drug Users in Drug Dependent Centers In Southern, Thailand. Nualta Apakupakul; Adisak Ngamkajornviwat; Komsun Noonumvong; Nimanong Thaichareon // Developing Country Studies;2013, Vol. 3 Issue 5, p137 

    Preventing an epidemic of HIV among drug injectors may not have prevented an AIDS epidemic in Thailand totally, but as the risky behavior among this group has not been addressed it does consequently stand out as a major cause of continued HIV transmission. This qualitative study was done and a...

  • Public health the leading force of the Indonesian response to the HIV/AIDS crisis among people who inject drugs. Mesquita, Fabio; Winarso, Inang; Atmosukarto, Ingrid I.; Eka, Bambang; Nevendorff, Laura; Rahmah, Amala; Handoyo, Patri; Anastasia, Priscillia; Angela, Rosi // Harm Reduction Journal;2007, Vol. 4, p9 

    Issue: Indonesia has an explosive HIV/AIDS epidemic starting from the beginning of this century, and it is in process to build its response. Reported AIDS cases doubled from 2003 - 2004, and approximately 54% of these cases are in people who inject drugs. Setting: Indonesia is the 4th largest...

  • Relationship Between Routinization of Daily Behaviors and Medication Adherence in HIV-Positive Drug Users. Wagner, Glenn J.; Ryan, Gery W. // AIDS Patient Care & STDs;Jul2004, Vol. 18 Issue 7, p385 

    Although lifestyle factors and routinization of daily activities are emerging as important variables in understanding and improving medication adherence, measures of these constructs remain crude and rudimentary. This study evaluated whether a brief, yet more comprehensive measure of the...

  • Plagued by inaction. Marshall, Andrew // Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 62 Issue 4, p40 

    The article discusses the AIDS epidemic and health crisis in Burma, which received less attention from its government as well as in the international community. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS reported an 170,000 to 610,000 Burmese to be infected with the virus and a rate of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics