Health minister calls for more efforts to curb HIV/AIDS

Ha Noi, Dec. 1 (VNA)-- Health Minister Do Nguyen Phuong has called for more concerted efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading, stressing men's important role in the nationwide campaign to fight the disease.

In an interview granted on the eve of the World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Minister Phuong warned of the alarmingly fast spread of the epidemic as all cities and provinces had reportedly have HIV/AIDS sufferers.

Citing the theme of the World AIDS Day, launched this year by the UNAIDS - the world's coordinating agency to combat the disease-, the Minister underscored the active role of men in the fight against and prevention of the disease. "The role of men is considered very important in this campaign, particularly in Viet Nam where 70 percent of HIV-infected people are drug users with the majority of them being men, Minister Phuong elaborated.

As many as 27,290 people in Viet Nam had tested HIV positive by mid-Nov. The first case was detected 10 years ago.

The Health Minister therefore asked the groups in Ho Chi Minh City in response to the national HIV/AIDS awareness drive to continue with their activities and expand them on a long-term basis, as the task required participation of all people in the society.

Appreciating work done by professors and researchers of the National Centre for Natural Science and Technology in seeking for a traditional medicine to treat the disease, Minister Phuong urged for more funds for the education, control and prevention of the disease.