Scaling up HIV & sexual and reproductive health and rights services in Vietnam

Scaling up HIV & sexual and reproductive health and rights services in Vietnam

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Stigma and discrimination are the most pervasive problems that young key populations encounter at healthcare centres in Vietnam. The 2014 Vietnam Stigma Index showed that 60.1% of respondents had not discussed their HIV-related treatment with a healthcare professional in the past 12 months4. Only 16.6% of MSM, 42.6% of female sex workers, and 38.1% of people who inject drugs had benefited from such a discussion. Negative experiences stop these groups from seeking essential services or returning for follow-up treatment and care. These groups also delay seeking assistance promptly, adversely affecting their health.

A Lighthouse study conducted in 2020 identified barriers encountered by young key populations when accessing HIV/AIDS and sexual health services, supported findings by other studies. Study participants reported inadequate information on HIV/AIDS, sexual health services, and related services for young people. They said they face stigma and discrimination in healthcare facilities and are made to feel shame and embarrassment. Healthcare services were inaccessible, unavailable, or inconvenient. Participants said they could not afford to pay for sexual health and HIV/AIDS services, and there was a lack of trained staff to provide specialised services to meet their needs as young key populations.

Lighthouse’s study on healthcare services between 2017 to 2019 found that healthcare workers needed better sexual health and gender identity training. They did not possess sensitivity, understanding, or empathy when working with young people; they used demeaning language when communicating with LGBTQI youth and had a poor understanding of their sexual health needs. They were also unaware of normative guidance and global and national best practices on healthcare delivery for young key populations.

Scaling up HIV & sexual and reproductive health and rights services in Vietnam

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