Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the commercial center and largest city in Vietnam, has a large and rapidly expanding HIV epidemic, mostly among young injecting drug users and female commercial sex workers. HIV infection rates in both groups have increased sharply since 1998. At present, drug use is expanding rapidly, young drug users are switching to injection, and drug injection is spreading among sex workers. The city is threatened with an increasing heterosexual spread of HIV in the general population, particularly among youth. With seven million people in the city, prevention resources are not adequate to control the epidemic. The HCMC AIDS Committee is the central organizational and administrative structure for all HIV prevention, control, surveillance and treatment activities in HCMC. Through relationships with the Health Department, the various social organizations in HCMC (Women's Union, Labor Union, Youth Union, etc.), and universities, the AIDS Committee has the multi-sectional and multi-institutional capability to-develop an effective research program. This is an RO3 CIPRA application to plan the development of an HIV/AIDS Research Center, under the direction of the Standing Bureau of the HCMC AIDS Committee. The objectives of the one-year CIPRA planning and organizational period are to 1) develop the administration and plan for an HIV/AIDS Research Center; 2) define the long-term research and prevention goals of the Center; and 3) develop the application for the second stage of CIPRA. The long-term purposes of the Center are to increase research capacity in the areas of 1) evidence-based prevention interventions that can be employed in a resource-poor environment; 2) surveillance for HIV, STDs and tuberculosis; 3) laboratory capabilities for diagnosis of HIV, opportunistic infections, and disease progression; and 4) treatment of HIV and opportunistic infections. The AIDS Committee has been a national leader in developing pilot HIV prevention programs for the country. HCMC is a forward-looking and vibrant international city; intervention and treatment programs developed here can serve as models not only for other parts of Vietnam but also for Southeast Asia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-YL-A (M2))
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Chiu, Joseph
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Ho Chi Minh City AIDS Committee
Ho Chi Minh City
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