Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Vietnam SCDI

Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Vietnam SCDI


Aidsfonds works with the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) to support sex workers in Vietnam. To strengthen the sex work movement SCDI provides community based organisations (CBOs) with technical and financial support, mentoring and capacity building. The Vietnamese Network of Sex Workers (VNSW) receives assistance in strengthening its network's capacity and power. To fulfil the human rights of sex workers, SCDI provides training to sex workers on human rights principles and the Vietnamese administrative sanction law on sex work. SCDI ensures that cases of violence against sex workers are documented. To achieve fewer HIV infections and improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of sex workers, SCDI trains sex worker-led CBOs in service provision and harm reduction interventions.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 797,336
Active in
Rwanda, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Vietnam


Partners under the Bridging the Gaps programme aim to end AIDS among key populations. If civil society is strengthened, if fulfilment of human rights for key populations is increased and if sexual and reproductive health is improved and HIV transmission reduced, governments will be hold to account and AIDS among key populations can end. Outcomes of SCDI include a strong sex work movement, increased fulfilment of sex workers’ rights, fewer HIV infections and improved sexual and reproductive health and rights of sex workers.

Community groups

The work of SCDI and VNSW reaches 32 sex worker-led CBOs in 21 provinces. Members of the CBOs are supported with capacity building support to develop strong local organisations and communities. Up to 150 sex workers will participate in the annual VCSPA. 700 sex workers will be trained on human rights principles and the Vietnamese administrative sanction law on sex work. Through training of 500 sex workers on legal counselling 600 sex workers will eventually benefit from referral to legal services. 7 sex work CBOs will be trained in service provision and harm reduction.


In Vietnam sex work is criminalised and sex workers are subject to violence committed by police, clients, brothel owners and pimps. Legal support for sex workers is limited, leading to underreporting on incidents and lack of law enforcement. Sex worker friendly health services are only available in major cities and ART access is challenging.

The overall HIV prevalence in Vietnam is relatively low (0.4%), however the HIV epidemic is concentrated in a number of high-risk populations such as female sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. HIV prevalence under female sex workers is estimated at 2.7% with in some regions HIV prevalence exceeding 10%. 18.3% of men who have sex with men are engaged in sex work. Despite the number of new HIV infections having declined during recent years, prevention programmes did not reach 40% of the high-risk population.

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Bridging the Gaps is alliance of nine international organisations and networks a...

Bridging the Gaps: Vietnam

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