National Dashboard to Track SHI-Covered ARVs Launched with Technical Assistance from USAID SHIFT

15/03/2019 - Building on last week’s initiation of social health insurance (SHI)-covered antiretrovirals (ARVs), this week the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) and Vietnam Social Security Agency (VSS) launched a national dashboard to track uptake of SHI for ARVs. The dashboard launch is the culmination of a year-long advocacy and technical assistance effort from USAID SHIFT, which, after just four working days, has already tracked 1,339 patients from 25 provinces as receiving SHI-covered ARVs. So What? This dashboard will ensure VAAC, VSS, and international donors are able to monitor the transition from donor-supported to SHI-covered ARV drugs and quickly address issues to ensure patients do not experience interruptions to their antiretroviral therapy.

Photo: Map automatically generated by dashboard system tracking national uptake of SHI-covered ARVs as of March 13, 2019

Photo: Map automatically generated by dashboard system tracking national uptake of SHI-covered ARVs as of March 13, 2019

USAID SHIFT Coordinates National SHI for ARV Event Headlined by Minister of Health and US Ambassador

08/03/2019 - US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink and Vietnam’s Minister of Health led a national celebration of the country’s first HIV patients to receive treatment medicines through social health insurance (SHI). The event was hosted from Nam Tu Liem District Health Center in Hanoi, where the USAID SHIFT program has helped see that more than 90% of HIV patients have valid SHI cards. So What? SHI-covered drugs will ensure that HIV patients in Vietnam can stay on treatment while USAID and PEPFAR reallocate resources..  

Photo 1: US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink speaks to the crowd on March 8 and congratulates Vietnam on efforts to sustain HIV services despite international funding reductions

Photo 1: US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink speaks to the crowd on March 8 and congratulates Vietnam on efforts to sustain HIV services despite international funding reductions

Photo 2: Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks to the crowd on March 8 and underscores the Government of Vietnam’s commitment to the use of SHI for ARVs

Photo 2: Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks to the crowd on March 8 and underscores the Government of Vietnam’s commitment to the use of SHI for ARVs

USAID SHIFT Helps Integrate Information Systems for Government HIV Treatment Sites

01/03/2019 - The USAID SHIFT program is helping Government of Vietnam health facilities to integrate HIV into their information systems, allowing for streamlined HIV patient management, program reporting, and social health insurance tracking. After completing integration for 21 sites in FY17-18, in the first quarter of FY19 the program began assisting 10 additional large, government-operated HIV treatment facilities in six provinces to integrate HIV in to their native data platforms. Such health informatics work is vital to promoting a locally-sustainable HIV response, as integrated health information systems improve service efficiency and tracking from site to national level.  

A clinician uses integrated health information system to review information on her patients’ treatment services and outcomes.

A clinician uses integrated health information system to review information on her patients’ treatment services and outcomes.

USAID SHIFT and Government of Vietnam Enable 97.7% of HIV Patients to Achieve Viral Suppression

25 February 2019 - When HIV patients’ treatment is highly effective, the amount of virus circulating in their systems dramatically declines, improving their health outcomes while reducing their risk of transmission. Over the last year, the USAID SHIFT program has helped Government of Vietnam clinics measure the HIV viral loads of 20,946 eligible patients, of whom 97.7% had suppressed viral loads (less than 1,000 copies of HIV viral RNA per milliliter of blood, or <1,000 cp/mL) and 96.8% had undetectable viral loads (<200 cp/mL). These results indicate superb treatment quality and adherence, helping to control the HIV epidemic while improving HIV patients’ prospects for healthy lives.  

Treatment provider counseling an HIV patient on his viral load testing results

Treatment provider counseling an HIV patient on his viral load testing results

Screenshot of USAID SHIFT Viral Load Data Dashboard

Screenshot of USAID SHIFT Viral Load Data Dashboard

USAID SHIFT-Supported Sites Exceed HIV Case-Finding Targets

18 February 2019 - Between October and December of 2018, the USAID SHIFT program assisted government and affiliated community sites to provide HIV testing, counseling and results to 14,446 at-risk individuals. Of these, 1,039 – or 7.2% – were confirmed HIV-positive and supported to access treatment. Thanks to comprehensive capacity building and support from USAID SHIFT, sites in six high-priority provinces are far exceeding their HIV case-finding aims while taking increasing ownership for the HIV response.

USAID SHIFT Partners Diagnose 1,039 HIV Cases in Last Quarter

11 February 2019 - As Vietnam prepares for the annual Tet holidays, the USAID SHIFT project is celebrating high achievements from its local partners. Between October 1 and December 31, 2018, project-supported sites in six provinces provided HIV testing and counseling to 14,446 people, of whom 1,039 (7.2%) were confirmed HIV-positive, far exceeding its quarterly aim for both the number and proportion of new cases found. These high results reflect the strengthened capacity of government health facilities to accelerate HIV epidemic control, by collaborating with community actors to reach and diagnose those at greatest risk of HIV.

USAID SHIFT Supports Local Partners to Reach 7,433 At-Risk Individuals with HIV Services

28 January 2019 - Vietnam was the first country in Asia to commit to UNAIDS Fast Track targets, whereby 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) are aware of their status, 90% of these are sustained on treatment, and 90% of PLHIV on treatment have viral suppression. While the country has made significant progress in recent years, at least 40,000 PLHIV remain undiagnosed and approximately 10,000 new cases are contracted annually, making HIV outreach and prevention essential. Between October and December of 2018, the USAID SHIFT project trained, coached and enabled provincial and local health authorities and community partners to reach 7,433 at-risk individuals with evidence-based HIV prevention interventions, link 4,286 of those in need to HIV testing and counseling, among which 205 new cases were diagnosed and 198 enrolled on treatment. USAID SHIFT is strengthening the capacity of local stakeholders to chip away at the “first 90” – an essential milestone to enable the country’s HIV epidemic control.

Health Information System Upgrades Helps Clinics Transition to SHI-Covered ARVs

20 January 2019 - USAID SHIFT has worked with Vietnamese internet and telecommunications providers to integrate HIV into native health information systems, including to help sites track uptake of social health insurance (SHI)-covered antiretroviral medications (ARVs). With USAID SHIFT support, Nam Tu Liem District Health Center and Hospital 09 in Hanoi have entered data for 1,863 HIV patients into the upgraded systems. The system upgrades will help clinic staff validate HIV patients’ eligibility for SHI and submit accurate SHI claims – essential steps to facilitate Vietnam’s transition from externally-financed to SHI-covered ARVs.

USAID SHIFT Helps Accelerate HIV Treatment Access

11 January 2019 - Evidence shows that expediting access to HIV treatment can dramatically improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, while reducing transmission and loss to follow-up. The USAID SHIFT program is enabling providers to reduce the time between confirming a client’s HIV diagnosis and dispersing their first antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications by reducing the number of clinical tests required before scripting and criteria that excluded some patients from immediate ART. Between July and November 2018, the proportion of new patients receiving antiretrovirals within 24 hours of enrolling in treatment in project-supported sites increased by 36% (from 58% to 79% of new HIV patients). These data confirm that the project’s efforts to expedite access to ART are bearing fruit and will substantively improve patient outcomes as they continue.

Tay Ninh’s Leaders Commit to Improving PLHIV’s Access to SHI Across Province

2 January 2019 - As the Government of Vietnam takes on increased responsibility for the funding of antiretroviral therapy (ART), people living with HIV (PLHIV) will need to have social health insurance (SHI) to access free and low-cost ART. On December 24, 2018, the Tay Ninh People’s Committee finalized a resolution approving a social health insurance (SHI) master plan for PLHIV in the province, including the use of local funds to cover 100 percent of SHI card premium costs and copays for ART. The commitments made by the Tay Ninh People’s Committee will increase the number of PLHIV that are able to receive and utilize SHI across the province, helping them access affordable treatments and increasing treatment adherence, both key factors in PLHIV achieving suppressed viral loads.

USAID SHIFT and National HIV Authority Launch Patient-Centered HIV Case-Finding Model

16 December 2018 - On December 10 and 11, the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) joined with USAID SHIFT to lead a comprehensive training on “Treat and Test” – a new approach to accelerate HIV case-finding through contact tracing and ART enrollment. The training course enabled 50 HIV clinicians, counselors and community-based supporters from Hanoi to address patients’ treatment preferences and needs, then rapidly track and diagnose new cases through methods of each patients’ choosing. Through the model, USAID SHIFT and VAAC are empowering patients while increasing opportunities to identify and disrupt HIV transmission chains, and will expand the model to additional provinces next week.

Hanoi health care provider reviews job aid for contact training at Treat and Test training on December 10

Hanoi health care provider reviews job aid for contact training at Treat and Test training on December 10

USAID SHIFT and Local Partners Provide HIV Community Outreach and Testing on 30th Annual World AIDS Day

2 December 2018 - On December 1, 2018, USAID SHIFT joined with its community-based partner, Lighthouse, and collaborators to provide hundreds of youth at Hanoi’s Trade Union University with access to HIV knowledge and testing services while celebrating progress towards epidemic control. The event used performances and interactive games to challenge stereotypes and raise participant understanding and acceptance of both the LGBTQ community and of people living with HIV, as well as detecting six additional cases among 83 who used on-site testing services. Through positive, community-based activities such as these, USAID SHIFT is empowering local organizations and youth networks to help end the country’s HIV epidemic.

Social work students from Hanoi’s Trade Union University review IEC materials at USAID-supported HIV testing booth

Social work students from Hanoi’s Trade Union University review IEC materials at USAID-supported HIV testing booth

USAID SHIFT Helps Accelerate Sustainability of HIV Response through Social Health Insurance

23 November 2018 - On November 20, USAID SHIFT joined HIV stakeholders in a workshop on using social health insurance (SHI) for antiretroviral drugs. During the event, representatives from the Ministry of Health/Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (MOH/VAAC) announced that 89% of HIV patients on treatment now have social health insurance cards – up from 40% five years ago. USAID, through the SHIFT project, is helping national and local health authorities accelerate this process to ensure a sustainable HIV response, by training HIV treatment facilities to deliver SHI-covered HIV services and integrating HIV into their health information systems. All major Vietnamese news channels aired segments on the workshop -- including an interview with USAID Vietnam Health Office Director Ms. Ritu Singh on USAID’s contributions to HIV treatment sustainability for Vietnam. Together these channels reach more than 10 million viewers per day, ensuring that Vietnamese audiences across the country now have better knowledge of USAID’s important role in these efforts.

Dr. Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control

Dr. Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control

Ms. Ritu Singh, USAID Vietnam Health Office Director

Ms. Ritu Singh, USAID Vietnam Health Office Director

Community-Based Supporters Leverage USAID SHIFT Assistance to Reach More than 30,700 at risk for HIV in Fiscal Year 2018

16 November 2018 - In fiscal year 2018 (FY18, October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018), USAID SHIFT utilized the enhanced outreach approach (EOA) to drive community-based supporters to reach and connect those at elevated risk for HIV to testing and prevention services. The EOA has emerged as a highly effective and locally-sustainable model, using performance-based incentives (PBIs) rather than monthly stipends to focus on reaching the right people, in the right places, at the right time. By the close of FY18, supporters reached 30,771 individuals at risk of HIV, of whom 18,855 were found at elevated risk and linked to HIV testing, 996 (5.3%) were diagnosed HIV-positive and at least 890 enrolled on treatment. The project is now helping provincial authorities expand and scale-up the model – along with innovative online-to-offline solutions – in the Ho Chi Minh City metropolitan region and Hanoi.

Photo of CBS with client

Photo of CBS with client

USAID SHIFT Helps Government of Vietnam Health Facilities Newly Enroll more than 3,400 Patients on HIV Treatment

9 November 2018 - USAID SHIFT is working with the Government of Vietnam (GVN) to expand access to HIV treatment services and accelerate treatment enrollment after diagnosis. Between October 2017 and September 2018, the USAID SHIFT program worked with 74 GVN facilities in 14 provinces to newly enroll 3,442 individuals on HIV treatment (124% of annual target) through targeted training and technical assistance, performance-based incentives and streamlined treatment initiation procedures. Enrolling people living with HIV on treatment soon after diagnosis expedites their achieving viral suppression, thereby improving health outcomes, reducing onward transmission and accelerating Vietnam’s control of the HIV epidemic.

USAID SHIFT Helps Local Partners Exceed HIV Testing Targets

2 November 2018 - HIV stakeholders in Vietnam are working intensively to find those at greatest risk for HIV and provide them with high-quality, expedient diagnoses and links to treatment. In fiscal year 2018 (FY18, i.e. October 2017-September 2018), the USAID SHIFT program helped government facilities and community partners in 14 provinces deliver 43,185 HIV tests, results and counseling to those at-risk, of which 2,574 (6.0%) were confirmed HIV-positive. After rapidly pivoting support for testing services to new areas in mid-FY18, USAID SHIFT helped its local partners achieve 112% and 141% of their annual targets for the number tested and number confirmed HIV-positive, respectfully. In coming weeks, the project will help health authorities in Hanoi expand HIV lay and self-testing, and a government hospital in Tien Giang province to expand HIV confirmatory diagnostic testing – the type of work through which USAID SHIFT is expanding local capacity while accelerating HIV epidemic control.

Photograph of HIV self-testing user

Photograph of HIV self-testing user

HIV Stakeholders Maximize Viral Suppression

26 October 2018 - HIV service data from fiscal year 2018 (FY18) are now available, and reveal that USAID SHIFT and the Government of Vietnam are supporting more than 40,000 HIV patients with access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Furthermore, more than 95% of patients with sustained access to ART in FY18 demonstrated highly suppressed viral loads (<200 copies/Ml), signifying superb treatment adherence and effectiveness. As USAID SHIFT helps local stakeholders assume increasing ownership for Vietnam’s HIV response, the project and its local partners are making tremendous progress to expand ART coverage and improve viral suppression, thereby improving the health of patients, preventing onward transmission and realizing HIV epidemic control.

GIF Attached: 95% of ART patients at USAID-supported sites have undetectable viral loads

GIF Attached: 95% of ART patients at USAID-supported sites have undetectable viral loads

USAID SHIFT Helps Local Partners Expand Online-to-Offline HIV Outreach and Case Finding to Hanoi

14 October 2018 - In early 2018, the USAID SHIFT program helped health authorities and community partners in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) launch a new strategy to expand online outreach and linkages to offline testing and treatment for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. On September 22, USAID SHIFT and HCMC partners gathered with health authorities and community partners in Hanoi to host the inaugural online-to-offline (O2O) event in the capital, using tools tested and lessons learned in HCMC, including effective HIV risk screening, lay testing and follow-up support. With USAID SHIFT assistance, local partners in Hanoi were able to quickly replicate success achieved in HCMC; more than 300 people attended the launch event, of whom 60 accessed HIV lay testing and five (8.3%) were confirmed HIV positive and linked to treatment.  

Community-based supporter works with attendee to complete a pre-HIV testing questionnaire at event in Hanoi on September 22&nbsp;

Community-based supporter works with attendee to complete a pre-HIV testing questionnaire at event in Hanoi on September 22 

Nghe An People’s Committee Commit US$660,000 to Sustain HIV Services in 2019

28 September 2018 - On September 24, the USAID SHIFT project joined with authorities in Nghe An to take stock of recent progress and officially transition ownership for the HIV response. With USAID and PEPFAR support, over the past two years, Nghe An has increased the number of people diagnosed with HIV by 34% and the number on treatment by 33%. In addition to marking substantial HIV epidemic control progress and expressing their gratitude for PEPFAR and USAID assistance, Nghe An authorities announced a commitment of more than 15 billion Vietnamese Dong (US$660,000) in local financing to sustain HIV outreach, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support services in the province in 2019 – an ideal outcome in sustainable transition.

Nghe An health and HIV authorities, facility leaders, treatment providers, USAID SHIFT and USAID staff celebrate at HIV epidemic control and transition event in Vinh City on September 24, 2018

Nghe An health and HIV authorities, facility leaders, treatment providers, USAID SHIFT and USAID staff celebrate at HIV epidemic control and transition event in Vinh City on September 24, 2018

USAID SHIFT and Dien Bien Province Mark Significant Improvements in HIV Epidemic Control

21 September 2018 - On September 20, the USAID SHIFT project joined with health authorities and community partners in Dien Bien to recognize significant progress in controlling the HIV epidemic. Since launching intensive efforts together in late 2015, Dien Bien has increased the number of people diagnosed with HIV by 24% and the number on treatment by 31%, and found that more than 95% of those on treatment have viral suppression. The event also served to officially transition ownership for the province’s HIV response to local ownership – a landmark achieved thanks to Dien Bien’s consistent willingness to evolve HIV strategies, drive high performance, and strengthen health services and systems with support from USAID SHIFT and PEPFAR implementers. A delegation from Indonesia’s similarly remote and mountainous Papua province was also in attendance, as part of a mission to learn from and hopefully replicate some of Dien Bien’s remarkable success.

Dien Bien provincial authorities and delegation from Indonesia/Papua province (health and HIV authorities, facility leaders, treatment providers, and USAID LINKAGES Indonesia program)

Dien Bien provincial authorities and delegation from Indonesia/Papua province (health and HIV authorities, facility leaders, treatment providers, and USAID LINKAGES Indonesia program)