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Meeting Addresses How To Improve HIV/AIDS Surveillance In Asia

A five-day workshop that opened Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will address ways to improve HIV/AIDS surveillance in the Asia region, Viet Nam News reports. The workshop has brought together “surveillance technical staff from government departments, non-governmental organisations and U.S. Government agencies from 14 countries in Asia to provide updates and best practices on key issues related to the conduct and use of HIV/AIDS surveillance data,” according to the news service (3/3).

Through the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to establish “a technical network at the regional level which supports monitoring the progress or trends of epidemics in the region,” Afghanistan National AIDS Control Program Manager Ajmal Sabawoon explained, according to a U.S. Embassy press release. The workshop will focus on “technical issues that are most pertinent to the low-level and concentrated epidemics in Asia,” according to the release.

“Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Vietnam National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said at the workshop: ‘With support from PEPFAR and other international organizations, Vietnam has fundamentally carried out second generation HIV/AIDS surveillance work initiated by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS,'” according to the release. “‘However, there is much more to do, particularly in quality control and improvement, in order to guarantee the linkages between surveillance and prevention, and maximize resources to allow effective analysis, planning and efficiency assessment of HIV programs in the country.'” The workshop is being hosted by PEPFAR, with the support from the CDC, according to the press release (3/2).

Since 2004, PEPFAR has contributed more than $400 million to support HIV/AIDS services, Viet Nam News reports (3/3).