USAID funds project to monitor HIV prevalence

Laos has a concentrated HIV epidemic compared to other countries, with the prevalence of HIV still at a low level in key groups. But risk behaviours threaten to increase the prevalence of HIV transmission amongst the population so the National Centre for HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections has worked to monitor activities through the Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV project. The one-year project, costing an estimated US$400,000, is supported by USAID and will be implemented in Vientiane, in addition to the provinces of Savannakhet and Champassak. The centre’s Director, Dr Bounpheng Philavong, spoke about the project after he signed an agreement with the Family Health International’s Regional Director of LINKAGES for Thailand and Laos, Dr Stephen Mills. Deputy Minister of Health Dr Phouthone Moungpak and other senior officials witnessed the signing of the agreement. In his opening remarks at the signing ceremony, Dr Bounpheng said the project will be managed by the centre with technical support from FHI 360 and will focus on the development of more effective and sustainable systems to reach, test, treat and retain in services members of key affected populations facing HIV infection risks.

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