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Mountainous villages plagued by HIV/AIDS

Mountainous villages plagued by HIV/AIDS

Many mountainous villages in Nghe An Province are seeing a high number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the past 20 years.

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Many locals in Nghe An have HIV

There are 412 people in Tien Phong Village are HIV positive. Many of them are parents and passed it on to their children.

“When I was pregnant last year, doctors said I had HIV but I didn’t believe him. But when my child was born, he was weak and tested positive with HIV,” a local woman said. “Both of my children have HIV, I have to go to Vinh City every month to take medicines for them.”

Tang Village has 52 patients, seven people whose condition had progressed to AIDS had died. In Na Thang Village of Kho Mu ethnic minority group, there are at least 20 people with HIV, all of them are very poor. Many of them didn’t know or think that they would have HIV until their health deteriorated and had to go to the hospital. By then, they already transmitted the disease to their loved ones.

Luong Thi Kien, head of Tien Phong Commune Medical Station, said, “Tien Phong has 412 people with HIV. Na Sanh Village is on top of the list with 58 patients, Tang and Long Quang villages follow with 52 and 45 patients respectively.

“Every time we went to the villages for health check-ups, we would discover new cases,” Kien said.

Dr. Mac Van Lam from OPC Clinic under Que Phong District Medical Station said the district had a total 1,123 HIV patients. 

The first HIV case was discovered in Que Phong in 1998. Since then, the number of patients is still on the rise. According to Lang Van Thai, director of Que Phong District Medical Station, said since Que Phong was a border district near Laos, the drug trafficking there was very complicated. Many of the locals are very poor and lack knowledge about HIV/AIDS so it didn’t take long for the disease to spread.

As of August, 9,594 HIV cases were detected in Nghe An, 5,864 progressed to AIDS and 3,993 had died. 81.9% contracted HIV via intravenous drug use.


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