is the average price of a 48 - week course of treatment for hepatitis C
rate of co-infection with HIV/HCV amongst groups of drug users
of drug users are affected by the hepatitis C virus
Amongst the most common causes of death in Vietnam, liver cancer is in 6th place (4%) and cirrhosis of the liver is in 9th place (3%). People who use drugs are widely infected with the hepatitis C virus which causes liver damage, and are among the main victims of these diseases. Yet there is no public programme for the prevention of hepatitis C in Vietnam, nor is there any screening or treatment amongst injecting drug users in the country.
There is no public programme for the prevention of hepatitis C in Vietnam.
All the more since people in possession of drugs there, are liable to punishment by the death penalty. Furthermore, the national health insurance system does not cover all the population. With the prohibitive cost of treatment ($5,500 for a 48 - week course) and the major stigma that they suffer, drug users remain excluded from the healthcare system.
In 2015, Doctors of the World and its three Vietnamese partners – SCDI (Supporting Community Development Initiatives), HMU (Hanoi Medical University) and VNPUD (Vietnam Network of People who Use Drugs) – established a harm reduction programme linked to the Hepatitis C virus in Hanoi.
Mobile programmes enable us to reach out to people who use drugs in the places that they live and consume drugs, and to raise their awareness of the risk of infection. Users can also be taken to the medical centre of the Medical University of Hanoi for screening for the virus and diagnostic testing of the liver. Thanks to the acquisition of a Fibroscan, prevention services, screening and diagnostic tests for HCV as well as screening and vaccination against hepatitis B are dispensed during the consultations.
Doctors of the World is working in collaboration with civil society actors to raise awareness of the issues of HCV and to devise an advocacy campaign to take to Vietnamese institutions.
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