AHF started its activities in Laos in 2018 by supporting ART decentralization in close cooperation with the Center of HIV/AIDS and STI and health care facilities under the Ministry of Health. Currently AHF Laos carries out HIV testing and clinical programs in the country as well as actively promoting condom use by means of public awareness campaigns.
At the end of 2021, the program has expanded to Savannakhet besides three provinces namely Vientiane Capital, Khammouane, and Champasak where the antiretroviral therapy is available under the Collaborative Project to improve the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Lao PDR. There were 6,257 active patients in 5 AHF supporting sites by the end of December 2021. In this year we tested for 25,169 people through community testing and health facility sites. Among them, we found 1,045 HIV-positive cases. We distributed about 269,478 LOVE and ICON condoms to prevent HIV including other sexually transmitted infections.
In this year AHF-Laos started to have activity on comprehensive sexual education in collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education Department, Ministry of Education, and local NGO to train teachers in the technical and vocational schools in Champasak, Salavan, Sekong, and Attapeu. This year, we have launched condom dispensers to increase safer sex by improving access to free condom distribution in these schools.
Another highlighted activity in 2021 is about supporting HIV-positive young girls aged 10-24 years old for their education and access to free sanitation for the schoolgirls. We started to train 8 HIV-positive young girls from five AHF-supporting health facilities on reproductive health. These young girls have completed and received the certificate of the reproductive health and learning participatory course. These young girls will continue to support other HIV-positive young girls and other affected young girls in their communities.
By September 2021, the estimated number of people living with HIV is about 15, 487, and 8,778 on treatment. It means we reached 75 76 70 of 90 90 90 targets. (Data source: The Center of HIV/AIDS and STI)
The report by UNAIDS in 2020:
• Estimated PLHIV: 15,000
• New infection: <1000
• People on ART (54% ART coverage): 8,189
• AIDS related deaths: <500
• HIV testing in FSW: 39%
• HIV testing in MSM: 12%
Sources: UNAIDS, 2020 HIV/AIDS Report.
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