Health Policy Initiative (HPI) Vietnam is a five-year (2008-13), US$10 million project funded by USAID / President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and implemented by Abt Associates Inc. in partnership with the Government of Vietnam, civil society organizations and other stakeholders. HPI works for adoption of HIV/AIDS laws, policies, and programs that are based on scientific evidence and international best practice, that protect the rights of all, and that draw on the substantial and growing capacity of civil society and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA).
PROMOTE EVIDENCE-BASED LAWS, POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
HPI works with government , civil society, and other stakeholders to develop, review, and refine decrees and circulars under the HIV/AIDS and Drug Control Laws. We have secured the adoption of legal documents that better reflect evidence and best practice, and developed policy briefs on the legal and policy framework on HIV/AIDS and drug control in Vietnam. HPI provides training that helps provincial and district leaders plan and implement comprehensive and multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS programs. HPI also supports peer-based HIV prevention targeting PLHA and female sexual partners of injecting drug users. We work with local officials, establishment owners and other stakeholders to develop an enabling environment for Vietnam’s first 100% condom use program for sex workers in entertainment establishments and their clients.
DEVELOP NETWORKS FOR POLICY ADVOCACY
HPI provides capacity building training and support for groups of PLHAs that are seeking legal registration. Having legal status enables groups to be officially recognized by the government and to receive outside funding. This capacity building effort included development of a handbook detailing the procedures and requirements for all legal registration options for these groups. HPI supports five legal clinics and a national hotline which provide assistance to people who experience HIV/AIDS-related discrimination in employment, education, health care and other spheres. Our approach links Positive Prevention, HIV prevention for sexual partners, capacity building for PLHA groups, and legal assistance. These components complement each other to reduce HIV risk, draw on peers from the target populations, support development of organizations representing these populations, and protect the legal rights of PLHA and vulnerable groups.
DEPLOY DATA FOR DECISION-MAKING
HPI develops resource needs estimates and scenarios for sustainable HIV/AIDS programs, providing valuable input to HIV/AIDS strategic plans at national and provincial levels. HPI conducts studies to build the evidence base for adoption and scale-up of cost-effective programs in HIV/AIDS prevention and substance abuse treatment. We supported the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) to upgrade its website and are populating the site with accessible summaries of policy relevant data. HPI is also developing a system to gather data on discriminatory acts and interference with HIV prevention programs, which are prohibited under the HIV/AIDS law.