Minh Quang’s story

Minh Quang is a 53-year-old drug user from Hanoi. Last year, he learned of a local community-based organisation (CBO), “Lien Minh Ve Nha,” which offers support group sessions and provides free HIV, hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis (HCV) testing and counselling condoms and clean syringes to people who inject drugs and other key populations at high risk for these infections. 

Upon attending one of these sessions, Quang tested positive for both HIV infection and HCV antibodies. “I felt confused and worried. Because I was still using drugs at that time, I didn’t have any money and didn’t know how to treat [HIV and HCV]. I was also concerned that I could infect my family members and that the disease could not be cured,” he said.

Lien Minh Ve Nha CBO staff immediately made an appointment with Quang to support him in navigating his next steps. They provided him with information on HIV and HCV, a list of nearby facilities where he could receive further testing to confirm his HIV and HCV diagnoses, and next steps for receiving treatment should his diagnoses be confirmed.

CBO staff accompanied Quang to a nearby outpatient clinic for confirmatory testing. Here, he received a chronic HCV diagnosis and was immediately enrolled in direct-acting antiviral treatment, fully covered by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Given the high cost of HCV direct-acting antivirals (which range from US$500–$1000 per month), this support was essential for Quang, enabling him to receive the three-month treatment regimen that would have otherwise been unaffordable. At the outpatient clinic, Quang was also confirmed to have HIV and immediately enrolled in free antiretroviral treatment covered through Vietnam’s social health insurance scheme.

Today, Quang is HCV-free and continues to receive sterile needles, syringes, and harm reduction counselling at Ve Nha CBO, as well as opioid agonist therapy alongside his HIV care and treatment at the outpatient clinic.


Accelerating hepatitis diagnosis and treatment in Vietnam (HepLINK)

Grantee: PATH

The project aimed at demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of a decentralised and integrated model of viral hepatitis service delivery. 

From April 2021 until August 2022, over 20,000 vulnerable individuals were screened for HBV and HCV, with approximately 900 receiving treatments for HCV and 500 enrolled in HBV treatment.