21 April 2017 - Injection drug use remains one of the greatest contributors to Vietnam’s HIV epidemic. With USAID support, national and local authorities have intensively scaled-up methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) to mollify this risk. MMT is now available at not only district-level sites, but a number of commune health stations. However, people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in remote and mountainous areas who live far from commune health stations still face substantial challenges in accessing daily MMT doses, putting them at risk for drug relapse and HIV. In light of this, the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) requested technical support from USAID SHIFT to pilot community-level MMT. In this scheme, hamlet health workers (HHWs) serving villages that are more than five kilometers or 30 minutes of travel from commune MMT dispensing sites will be trained and supported to provide MMT to qualifying patients within their immediate communities. Together with Dr. Minh Tam, Chief of Harm Reduction for VAAC, USAID SHIFT technical experts led assessments in Son La (April 2-5) and Dien Bien (April 17-21) to identify remote and underserved villages to implement the pilot based on their injecting drug use burden, MMT services and adherence, social security, and local health system capacity. In May USAID SHIFT and VAAC will begin training HHWs in the selected villages on drug dispensing and management, and launch pilot services in July. The outcomes will inform whether, where and how Vietnam begins offering community-level MMT, keeping the country on the leading edge of harm reduction and HIV prevention for PWIDs.