Understanding and challenging stigma toward injecting drug users and HIV in Vietnam

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Toolkit for action

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Dr. Khuat Thu Hong, Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Ross Kidd, Laura Brady, Laura Nyblade, Anne Stangl

Vietnam has a growing problem of illegal drug use and addiction, which has a serious impact on the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. This problem is closely linked to HIV transmission, and fear of and stigma toward drug users is further fueling the HIV epidemic. Since 2000 the Vietnamese government and civil society have increased their efforts to address stigma and discrimination toward IDUs, as well as the vulnerability of IDUs to HIV. However, in reality, the stigma against IDUs persists and is still widely prevalent in many places, creating barrier for HIV/AIDS prevention program.