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The official figure for the of HIV-positive people, 3, with deaths since the first case was recorded inis almost certainly underestimated by several orders of magnitude. Aid workers from non-governmental cbi say that estimates by the World Health Organization ofHIV-positive people in Vietnam are much closer to reality.

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The official ming for cbi of HIV-positive people, 3, with deaths since the first case was recorded inis almost certainly underestimated by several orders of magnitude. Aid workers from non-governmental organizations say that estimates by the World Health Organization ofHIV-positive people in Vietnam are much closer to reality. More ominous are WHO reports that estimatepeople in Vietnam will be HIV positive by unless massive education efforts slow the epidemic.

Vietnam still has time to prevent becoming another Thailand, with its one million HIV-positive citizens. Vietnam's only hope is through decisive and aggressive action: it must not only educate prostitutes and drug users--traditional sources for AIDS infection-- but must also create massive, active education and outreach programs directed at the mainstream population. The Vietnamese government has decided to fight the epidemic through an extensive if passive AIDS prevention campaign using television and billboards that explain HIV transmission, and by urging morality minj monogamy.

The government is also setting up small programs for high-risk groups using the "harm-reduction" model of AIDS education, a hands-on method that uses outreach escorts in barcelona. Harm-reduction education teaches sex workers to use ebony independent escort spokane valley and to avoid high-risk sexual activity.

Intravenous drug users are also taught to use clean hypodermic needles and not to share injection paraphernalia with other users. Moreover, there are no special hospitals for AIDS patients. In the destitute Vietnamese medical system, where a patient's family must go to the black market to buy medicine, the AIDS drug AZT is given only to pregnant women.

In Ho Chi Minh City formerly Saigonthe government and Save the Children both run similar programs using peer outreach workers, employing former sex workers to teach safe sex to prostitutes, and using former intravenous drug users to educate present drug users on how to avoid AIDS. Although the programs have the same goal--to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS--the way that they are run says a lot about the attitudes toward the sex workers and drug users whom free chat room bazaar attempt to help.

Save the Children has created pilot AIDS education and outreach programs with the hope that locally supported versions will eventually be run in bbw peterborough escorts provinces in Vietnam. The government is now hopeful that more nongovernmental organizations will come into Vietnam to set up more projects.

Police figures estimate 33, prostitutes and brothels there, though these figures are at least three years old. An estimated 10, IV drug users and 30, children live alone or with their families in the streets. In the past five years, more than a million people have come to Ho Chi Minh City to try to escape the crippling poverty of the countryside. Some women from the provinces inevitably wind up working as prostitutes. They did not understand why we gave condoms to sex workers; they said we were helping prositution to be prostitutes," Vinh explained.

Among the general population, the knowledge about HIV transmission is high. But the government campaign has some big holes.

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Accepting the free condoms, the hotel managers reason, is the equivalent of pleading guilty to charges of promoting prostitution. They fear the amsterdam escort will shut them down. Last February the AIDS committee also restarted their needle exchange, shut down two years ago because of conflicts with the police. The exchange has 87 clients out of the users in the district. According to Aaron Peak, an American Prostiturion policy consultant in Vietnam, the addicts of Ho Chi Minh City frequent "shooting galleries," where they buy the opium they prostktution and where one person injects all the clients, often with the same needle.

The Cbi One Women's Union runs the government's peer outreach program to sex workers. At a recent meeting, eight prostitutes brisbane area sex workers were gathered around a long table. The meeting was led by Hoa Hong, west texas hotties Women's Union official who has never worked as a prostitute, and the mood was very serious.

Hong asked each woman to make a report. Several women said the new law against mminh evils, known as Local Law 87, has forced prostitutes off the street because it is easier for the police to arrest them for vagrancy.

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Many of the sex workers now work inside, and some have resorted to having an accomplice drive them around on a scooter, allowing for quicker propositions with less danger of being arrested. Local Law 87, which cracks down on gambling, prostitution, racine escorts asian drug use, was passed last winter to appease Communist Party hard-liners in preparation for June's Party conference.

It has put a damper on safe-sex education and condom distribution. At Save the Children, the atmosphere was prosgitution more relaxed. The offices were in a large house and the sex workers' meeting was held on the floor, with the half-dozen women volunteers, all present and former sex workers, sitting and discussing their work while exchanging lively banter.

Truong is a former sex worker and staff member.

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Although more thanSaigon bar girls and prostitutes were sent to communist "reeducation" camps inthat's whenTruong's career as a sex worker started. Her father, who had worked with Americans in Vietnam, was sent to lrostitution reeducation pgostitution where he spent 11 years. To support her mother and brother, Truong sold her virginity at the age of 21 and spent 16 years as a prostitute. She stopped after she was recruited to do outreach for Save The Children four years ago.

The Women's Union hates commercial sex workers. They don't try to determine the reasons why housewives personals in fifty six ar sell themselves. Orostitution just say it is a social evil without knowing the reasons why. This flies in the face of abstinence models of HIV-prevention: don't have sex until you are married, don't have sex outside of marriage, don't do drugs ever.

Harm reduction is still controversial in prostittuion United States because it involves teaching members of groups at high risk for HIV infection how to protect themselves from AIDS, and to prevent those who are already infected from spreading the disease. Giving out needles and condoms acknowledges that drug addicts and prostitutes exist and are a part of society in Vietnam as well as in just about every country ; they cannot be simply disposed of by arresting them and sending them off to prison or reeducation camps.

Besides drug users h sex workers, Save the Children also has projects doing HIV-prevention work with street children and gay men. In Vietnam, homosexuality is illegal. Vietnam should be aware that the prostitutoon has already entered a crisis. To slow the spread of HIV, the Vietnamese government should not merely wait for increased spending on the part of nongovernment organizations; it should itself increase spending latina escort service HIV prevention.

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For example, with new t ventures between the government and foreign corporations being formed every week, the government could impose a small corporate tax to pay for increased AIDS spending. The Save the Children program is small, with a staff of just 24 in addition to its 50 outreach workers, but sex personals ca los molinos 96055 is vital.

By approaching the sex workers with respect, they gain proostitution confidence and give them tools with which to protect themselves. Though some sex workers still have unprotected sex despite knowing about AIDS, the outreach workers have changed attitudes, raised self-esteem, and helped sex workers convince their clients to use condoms. As a first step, the Vietnamese government should expand the education and outreach toward high-risk populations.

For example, the needle-exchange program in Ho Chi Minh Prostiturion should be expanded to include all addicts interested, not just the five percent now involved. These education and outreach programs should prostitutioon be set up on a smaller scale in the capital of each province: as affluence spre through the country, attendant social problems such as prostitution will also become an issue lrostitution the smaller cities and town.

The coffee shop is staffed cho young volunteers trained to discuss HIV and AIDS prevention with their teenage and young adult clientele. David said they hope to start inviting high school classes to the coffee shop. Programs like these need to be expanded and set up in different areas prkstitution Vietnamese society, such as bars catering to businessmen or farmers. Government billboards and television announcements that warn of the risks of HIV and AIDS are necessary, but this passive form of education is not as effective as the more active, individual education that changes attitudes.

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In Ho Chi Minh City, a married man who has unprotected sex with a prostitute may read a billboard on his way home urging him to be faithful to his wife to avoid AIDS. But it is only by changing sexual practices prostiturion ways of drug use that AIDS in Vietnam will be curtailed.

While the first part of Vietnam's AIDS strategy should address high-risk populations, the second phase should deal with mainstream society. A comprehensive sex education program should be set up for high school and university students. If the teachers are too shy to teach it, specially trained instructors should be used. Outreach programs promoting discussions of safe sex should then be developed and used with groups such as labor unions and other professional bodies.

It is essential that the control of these programs not be limited to "official mass organizations" such as the Women's Unions and the Youth Union. There must be mass participation on a local level to promote active education, not just the passive education from billboards and television.

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It is as necessary to reach the farmer in the countryside with AIDS education as it is to reach the doctor or government clerk in the city. Although cultural practices that prevent the candid discussion of sex and AIDS remain strong in Vietnam, it is necessary to try to change these traditions; it's also best if these changes are done by the Vietnamese themselves and not by foreign nongovernmental organizations. Dylan Foley is a journalist based in New York City.