The Global Fund will cease funding HIV treatment services operating in compulsory drug treatment centres in Viet Nam.
When it signed an $85 million HIV grant with the country’s Ministry of Health in May 2013, the Global Fund said its support for services provided at the drug treatment centres was contingent on the identification by government of an international, independent NGO to monitor conditions in the centres. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other organisations have expressed concerns about human rights abuses in the centres, including forced labour and inhumane treatment of detainees. (See GFO article)
In mid-December, the Global Fund's director of communications Seth Faison told GFO that the Fund has informed the Vietnamese government it is not prepared to accept its proposed scheme to have the Vietnamese Red Cross visit some of the centres twice a year. “We intend within the next six months to negotiate an exit strategy and to reprogram our funding outside of [the drug treatment] centers,” Mr Faison said.
The Global Fund has been financing HIV treatment at the centres for about 900 patients, and intends to divert this funding to a similarly sized cohort of patients outside. The Fund is also seeking a commitment from the government that it will fund the treatment of patients inside the centres.
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