Vuot Song is a community-based organization located in the heart of downtown Ho Chi Minh City where a large population of MSM and IDUs live. A visit to this site provided a unique opportunity for a small group of Japanese Diet members to learn firsthand how funds from the Global Fund trickle down to the grassroots level to reach key populations in need.
The Hon. Tsuneo Akaeda and Hon. Yasuko Komiyama took part in the field visit, which was organized by FGFJ with support from the Global Fund. Vuot Song enlists members of the key populations to conduct advocacy and outreach and provides testing at their community center. During the visit by the Japanese delegation, a transgender person stopped by to get tested after seeing the information at the hair salon—an example of how successful their outreach is to the otherwise hard-to-reach population. The organization works closely with the local authorities so that those who need further care and treatment are referred to the appropriate health facilities.
The HIV epidemic in Vietnam is highly concentrated among the key populations: close to 60 percent of new infections were among IDUs in 2016. A newly enacted insurance scheme now covers care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, but the challenges remain. The enrollment among key populations reaches only 50 percent and the insurance covers limited health facilities.
In front of the Vout Song office
Hon. Tsuneo Akaeda offer opening remarks
Observing an HIV test
A client who is a sex worker shared her experience of being supported by Vout Song