31 March 2017 - Vietnam’s HIV response is navigating a crucial but precarious transition from external donor to local financing. Although prompted by the country’s positive economic growth, the situation presents substantial challenges to national and local HIV authorities, patients, facilities, and healthcare providers. The USAID SHIFT project is leading technical assistance (TA) to the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) and Provincial AIDS Centers (PACs) to maximize HIV treatment efficiency and retain patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) while swiftly scaling up social health insurance (SHI) for HIV services. On March 28, USAID SHIFT technical team leaders secured VAAC buy-in for the project’s ART Retention/SHI Scale-Up Risk Mitigation Strategy including a robust suite of national, provincial, and site-level TA. Over the past two weeks the project also (1) cleaned and analyzed the country’s HIV treatment database and identified provinces with highest ART attrition and mortality; (2) began helping VAAC incorporate multi-month ARV scripting and Test-and-Start strategies into national policy (Circular 32); (3) trained 107 health authorities and providers from 10 HIV treatment facilities and 53 communes to roll out ART and SHI Individual Treatment Continuation Plans (ITCPs) across Dien Bien province; (4) supported Nghe An province to decentralize ART by training 72 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and district and commune health workers in community-based treatment; (5) aided Quang Ninh province to strengthen ART retention through a workshop with 44 health staff; (6) helped local partners follow-up with mobile patients found over Tet to ensure they have continuous ART; and (7) received a TA request from Can Tho province to assist in its retention and SHI efforts. These combined developments signal vital progress in USAID SHIFT’s efforts to support the government of Vietnam in sustaining a robust national HIV response during this period of transition.