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)

USAID SHIFT and Local Partners Reach and Diagnose At-Risk Populations in Ho Chi Minh City through Innovative Online-to-Offline Model

14 September 2018 - On September 11, USAID SHIFT joined with Blue Sky Club and the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Provincial AIDS Center to host a “Reach 4.0” event, promoting outreach, HIV knowledge sharing and services for at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) people. Deputy Chief of Mission Caryn R. McClelland attended the event, which provided 70 MSM and TG with on-site HIV lay testing services, six of whom (8.6%) were found reactive, were counseled, and were linked to confirmatory diagnosis and treatment. Given the tremendous success of the online-to-offline model (through which more than 8% of those tested at all events have been confirmed HIV-positive, and 100% of those linked to treatment), USAID SHIFT will join with health authorities and MSM community leaders to officially launch the model in Hanoi later this month.

   Attendees take a photo with Reach 4.0 check-in frame to spread information about HIV outreach and lay testing services on social media

Attendees take a photo with Reach 4.0 check-in frame to spread information about HIV outreach and lay testing services on social media

  Community-based supporter counsels an event participant on HIV lay testing

Community-based supporter counsels an event participant on HIV lay testing

USAID SHIFT Enables Tien Giang Health System to Provide HIV Lay Testing

7 September 2018 - HIV stakeholders in Vietnam are working diligently to expand HIV screening and diagnoses among at-risk groups. From September 5-7, the USAID SHIFT program trained outreach workers in Tien Giang province to begin offering HIV lay testing, with robust quality assurance and oversight from the local health system. The trained lay workers in Tien Giang can now offer high-quality and discrete HIV screening to those at risk (including men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs), outside of traditional health facilities. Doing so will help increase the proportion of HIV-positive people who are aware of their HIV status and linked to treatment, with better health outcomes and reduced transmission.

USAID SHIFT Helps Local HIV Stakeholders Verify and Reach Untreated Cases

31 August 2018 - In order to mount an effective HIV response, local health systems must verify each reported case and follow-up to ensure those diagnosed with HIV are enrolled on treatment. On August 15, USAID SHIFT helped local health authorities launch a multi-phase effort to improve and accelerate case verification across all PEPFAR-supported provinces in Vietnam, starting with two districts in Tien Giang. In the ensuing two weeks, 36 communes used a new protocol to analyze at least 80% of reported cases and identify those who may not be on treatment. The new protocol is producing promising outcomes; three previously untreated patients in Tien Giang have been found and enrolled in treatment as a result already. USAID SHIFT will work with national and provincial HIV stakeholders to bring the approach to scale towards accelerating HIV epidemic control. 

USAID SHIFT-supported provinces exceed viral suppression targets

24 August 2018 - Viral suppression is a key indicator of HIV treatment effectiveness; when an HIV patient achieves viral suppression, s/he has a significantly reduced likelihood of transmitting infection and has improved health outcomes. From April to June, USAID SHIFT-supported project sites completed 2,583 viral load tests with an overall viral suppression rate of 95.6%, marking the second quarter project-supported provinces exceeded the 95% target needed to achieve HIV epidemic control.  USAID SHIFT technical assistance is enabling local HIV stakeholders to achieve and accurately measure and sustain viral load suppression, a crucial step towards achieving epidemic control in Vietnam.

USAID SHIFT Helps Ho Chi Minh City Health System Launch Country’s First ART Fee-for-Service at a Government Facility

17 August 2018 - Last week, USAID SHIFT helped health system leaders in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) launch the country’s first government-led antiretroviral therapy (ART) fee-for-service (FFS) clinic within Thu Duc District Hospital. The project helped create the service after analyzing patients’ individual treatment continuation plans (ITCPs) with HCMC Provincial AIDS Center and finding that many in the area wanted to pay for select HIV services out-of-pocket, but at a government facility rather than more expensive private clinic. The new service promotes patient-centered healthcare and is closely integrated with Thu Duc District Hospital’s existing HIV treatment offerings, allowing for seamless referrals and patient tracking

USAID SHIFT Helps Local Partners Exceed HIV Outreach Targets for Fiscal Year 2018

10 August 2018 - HIV stakeholders in Vietnam are driving to reach those at risk as they pursue aggressive epidemic control aims. By the close of the third quarter of fiscal year 2018 (FY18), the USAID SHIFT project had helped its local partners in Ho Chi Minh City, Dien Bien and Nghe An provinces exceed their FY18 targets for HIV outreach. The USAID SHIFT project has helped provincial governments and their affiliates reach, screen and provide evidence-based HIV prevention services to more than 24,000 key and priority populations within nine months – high performance the project is now helping local governments and community partners in Hanoi and the HCMC metro areas to replicate.

USAID SHIFT Diagnoses More than 1,600 HIV Cases Through Third Quarter of FY2018

3 August 2018 - PEPFAR implementing partners in Vietnam are racing to close gaps against epidemic control targets, for the number of people living with HIV who are aware of this status. Between October 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, the USAID SHIFT project and its local partners had tested and confirmed 1,608 people HIV positive across 11 provinces, including 80 cases in Hanoi and more than 1,000 in Ho Chi Minh City during the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year 2018 (FY2018). USAID SHIFT has rapidly evolved and deployed new HIV testing services and models to increase its Q3 case-finding results in Hanoi by more than three-fold over previous quarters and accelerate epidemic control in this high priority area.

USAID SHIFT Helps New Provincial Partners Measure and Ensure Viral Suppression

27 July 2018 - PEPFAR implementers and HIV stakeholders in Vietnam are in the midst of a significant shift to accelerate epidemic control in the Ho Chi Minh City metropolitan area and Northern Economic Zone. To enable this, the USAID SHIFT project provided technical support to help local health authorities in Tay Ninh, Tien Giang and Dong Nai provinces analyze viral load testing results for more than 2,800 patients, and found that 96.8% of those tested (2,762/2,853) had viral loads below 1,000 copies/mL. USAID SHIFT is enabling local HIV stakeholders to accurately measure progress to achieve epidemic control, and to use these promising early results as a high bar for continued health system performance.  

USAID SHIFT and Dong Nai province tackle stigma and discrimination against HIV

20 July 2018 - Stigma and discrimination (S&D) present formidable barriers to key populations accessing HIV testing and treatment in Vietnam. On July 3, USAID SHIFT joinedDong Nai Department of Health and the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control to train staff from major health facilities to meet a recent Ministry of Health directive on reducing HIV S&D. The trainees now understand the impact of their attitudes and behaviors on HIV service uptake, retention and epidemic control, and have committed to treating those at risk of or living with HIV in Dong Nai with dignity and respect.

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USAID SHIFT Supports Ho Chi Minh City Provincial AIDS Center to Intensify HIV Epidemic Control Monitoring

13 July 2018 - On July 12, the USAID SHIFT project joined with the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Provincial AIDS Center (PAC) to analyze the city’s progress towards HIV epidemic control targets. The project applied methodologies and tools it has tested and refined with other provinces to help intensify epidemic monitoring and accelerate performance. With USAID SHIFT support, the HCMC PAC is now setting and measuring performance against district-level HIV epidemic control targets and analyzing HIV cascade results for key populations, thereby enhancing its data-driven decision-making to accelerate epidemic control.

Stakeholders collaborate to expedite and streamline case-finding in Hanoi

6 July 2018 - A number of agencies are working along the continuum of HIV prevention to care (CoPC) in Vietnam, including the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) project within the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC). Given significant strides in HIV control in recent years, these efforts are increasingly focused on higher-burden, priority provinces, including some overlapping sites between USAID SHIFT and the GFATM project within VAAC. As part of ensuring effective use of resources and combined efforts to achieve greater outcomes, USAID SHIFT proactively coordinated meetings with GFATM’s Central Management Unit in Hanoi. These meetings, which took place on June 27 and July 5, reviewed SHIFT’s assessment findings, determined comparative strengths and complements, and reached consensus on the activities and focus areas for each group. The meetings laid the groundwork for work plan and budget development while harmonizing efforts among key players in HIV epidemic control efforts. This coordination limits duplicitous efforts, reduces operating costs, streamlines case-finding in Hanoi and paves the way for increased impact. Interagency collaboration, including knowledge sharing and proactive coordination of respective efforts and shared objectives, leads to maximum effectiveness and improved outcomes along the CoPC, greatly contributing to sustainable HIV epidemic control.