Vietnam has recorded elevated HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men over the past ten years, the Ministry of Health reported at a conference in Hanoi on Wednesday.
From 2012 to the end of September, 219,146 people were registered with HIV infection in the country, including more than 7,000 cases logged in the first nine months of this year, according to the ministry’s Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC).
Among people newly diagnosed with HIV, 85 percent are men. Some 48.9 percent of the infected men are aged 16-29 and 28.7 percent are in their 30s.
While transmission was the most prevalent among people who inject drugs in the past, the rate of transmission through unprotected sex gradually increased from 65 percent in 2013 to 82.2 percent by 2022.
Notably, 47 percent of people newly contracting HIV were men who have sex with men.
At Wednesday’s conference, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said that while international support accounted for up to 80 percent of Vietnam’s budget to fight HIV, the rate has fallen to 49 percent in recent years as domestic financial resources made up some 51 percent.
However, Huong expects that finance will remain a challenge for Vietnam in achieving its goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as the country’s current resources only meet 60-70 percent of its demand.
Huong said that the health ministry is working on securing donations.
Phan Thi Thu Huong, head of the VAAC, emphasized the importance of wider health and sex education, as well as reducing stigma and discrimination against sexual minorities.
Vietnam targets $7,500 GDP per capita by 2030: resolution
Vietnam aims to achieve a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$7,500 per capita while meeting all the criteria of an industrialized country by 2030, as part of its aspiration to become a high-income developed country and one of the leading industrialized countries in Asia by 2045.
According to the latest data from the World Bank, Vietnam’s GDP per capita stood at $3,694.02 in 2021, a 4.76 percent increase from 2020.
These ambitious targets are set forth in a resolution passed at the sixth session of the 13th Party Central Committee that wrapped up last month.
Under the resolution, which was signed by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam is set to become a developing country with modern industry, high average income per capita, and enhanced living standards by 2030.
Along with the $7,500 GDP per capita, the other specific targets for 2030 include the average GDP growth of seven percent per year at current prices, and the gross national income (GNI) of over $7,000 per capita at current prices.
The Southeast Asian nation will be built into a high-capacity and self-reliant industry that is highly adaptable and resilient, gradually mastering core and background technologies of the foundational, priority and spearhead industries within seven years, according to the resolution.
By that time, the nation’s total factor productivity (TFP)’s contribution to economic growth will reach over 50 percent, and its global innovation index (GII) will be among those of the group of 40 leading countries in the world.
In the ASEAN area, Vietnam will be among the three countries leading the region in industrial competitiveness, with its industry share in GDP exceeding 30 percent and the rate of hi-tech industrial products in processing and fabrication sectors attaining more than 45 percent.
Meanwhile, the proportion of the service sector will account for over 50 percent of GDP, with tourism alone representing 14-15 percent of GDP.
In addition, the proportion of agricultural laborers in total social labor will be less than 20 percent, while the rate of trained workers with high qualifications will range from 35 to 40 percent.
Notably, the resolution also set an ambitious target to train over 80 percent of the working-age population in basic digital skills while the nation will have about 260 university students per ten thousand inhabitants by 2030.
The country will build up a number of large-scale, multinational domestic industrial corporations and enterprises with global competitiveness in fundamental industries, priority industries, and spearhead industries.
It will build and develop a number of domestic industrial clusters with large-scale and international competitiveness, and own a number of industrial and agricultural value chains.
The country also aims to build a self-reliant, self-strengthening, modern, and dual-use defense industry that meets both defense and military needs and directly participates in socio-economic development and serving the people.
The share of the digital economy is expected to make up 30 percent of GDP and the nation will complete the construction of a digital government, earning a place among the top 50 countries in the world and ranking third in the ASEAN region in terms of e-government and digital economy.
The resolution also sets an urbanization rate of over 50 percent, the environmental performance index (EPI) at over 55, and the human development index (HDI) more than 0.7 by 2030.
It requires building and perfecting institutions and policies to promote the country’s industrialization and modernization process, in which science and technology advances, especially achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, should be applied broadly in order to create breakthroughs in productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of enterprises, industries and the whole economy.
As projected in the resolution’s long-term vision, Vietnam will strive to become a developed country with high income per capita in the world by 2045.
Temperatures to plummet as cold spell hits northern Vietnam
A cold front is expected to begin affecting northern Vietnam around Tuesday night, with forecast site i-weather predicting that the temperature will drop to minus three degrees Celsius at the top of Fansipan Mountain.
The cold snap will start influencing the mountainous provinces in northern Vietnam on Tuesday night and the rest of the region on Wednesday morning, the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting reported.
It will later expand its effects to north-central localities.
Temperatures in northern and north-central provinces are expected to drop starting Wednesday.
The lowest mercury in mountainous areas will be 9-12 degrees Celsius and below five degrees Celsius in some high-altitude locations.
The average lows in the Red River Delta will be 12-14 degrees Celsius, and in north-central localities will be 13-16 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures will further drop in the following days, and the frigid weather is expected to last until Saturday.
The temperature at the top of Fansipan Mountain in northern Lao Cai Province may drop to below zero degrees Celsius, while sleet and frost may form, said Luu Minh Hai, former director of the Lao Cai hydro-meteorological station.
Meanwhile, forecast site i-weather predicts that the temperature on the Fansipan peak may plunge to minus three degrees Celsius between Thursday and Saturday.
There will also be a chance of snow, the site added.
According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the cold front will bring winds of 12-38km per hour to northern provinces.
Showers will also dampen the region on Tuesday night and on Wednesday.
Medium to heavy rains are also forecast to lash central and south-central provinces from Wednesday night to Saturday.
Boy saves elderly man from being hit by train in northern Vietnam
A 12-year-old boy was acclaimed on Monday after pulling an elderly man from the tracks as a train approached in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Hoang Manh Chien, a seventh grader living in Cam Thinh Ward of Cam Pha Town in Quang Ninh Province, received the acclamation at his Cam Thinh Middle School during the flag raising ceremony to start the week.
Chien was riding a bicycle home at around 7:30 pm last Saturday when he saw Nguyen Thanh Vot, a 69-year-old local, lying on the tracks with a motorbike on top of him.
While a train was arriving and the elderly man frantically struggled to get away from the tracks, no one was around to help.
Without hesitation, Chien decided to pull him off the tracks with the train only several meters away.
He moved the man to safety shortly before the train arrived.
The man only suffered minor injuries even though the locomotive pushed his motorbike about three meters.
“Though I was really scared, the train appeared closer and closer and I knew at the moment that if I just stood there and watched, he would definitely have been in danger,” said Chien.
Nguyen Thi Hong, principal of Cam Thinh Middle School, said she was moved and surprised at the same time by Chien’s action as he was “nice but a bit shy at school.”
Local authorities and the school organized a ceremony to praise Chien on Monday afternoon.
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