HHS Secretary Leavitt meets with health officials in Vietnam to discuss health issues, including HIV/AIDS

October 15, 2015

Leavitt was in Vietnam as part of a five-day Southeast Asia trip to assess U.S. collaborative efforts with other countries to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

Vietnam has received about $86 million in President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funding this year -- nearly a fivefold increase from 2004 -- according to Thanhnien News. Part of the funding has been used to develop a no-cost methadone program that aims to reduce the number of HIV/AIDS cases that are transmitted through injection drug use, Le Truong Giang, vice chair of Ho Chi Minh City's AIDS Committee and vice director of its health department, said. Giang said that the program, which will begin next month, plans to provide treatment to 750 opiate drug users in three pilot districts. He added that if successful, the program could be expanded throughout the country.

Karl White, a member of Leavitt's delegation and the Substance Abuse Adviser to Vietnam, said methadone -- approved for more than 40 years to treat U.S. heroin users -- has kept 60% to 65% of those treated from relapsing (Le, Thanhnien News, 4/18).

This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at the The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.