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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 732484, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/732484
Review Article

Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Vietnam: An Overview and Scaling-Up Plan

1Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC), Ministry of Health, Ha Noi, Vietnam
2Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Rockville, MD 20857, USA

Received 10 August 2012; Accepted 17 October 2012

Academic Editor: R. Douglas Bruce

Copyright © 2012 Tam T. M. Nguyen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Vietnam is among the countries with the highest rate of HIV transmission through injecting drug users. HIV prevalence among injecting drug users is 20% and up to 50% in many provinces. An estimated number of drug users in the country by the end of 2011 were 171,000 in which the most common is heroin (85%). Detoxification at home, community, and in rehabilitation centers have been the main modalities for managing heroin addiction until Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) was piloted in 2008. Recent reports have demonstrated positive treatment outcomes. Incidence of HIV was found remarkably low among patients on MMT. Treatment has significantly improved the quality of life as well as stability for society. The government has granted the Ministry of Health (MoH) to expand Methadone treatment to at least 30 provinces to provide treatment for more than 80,000 drug users by 2015. The Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) and MOH have outlined the role and responsibility of key departments at the central and local levels in implementing and maintaining MMT treatment. This paper will describe the achievements of the MMT pilot program and the scaling-up plan as well as strategies to ensure quality and sustainability and to overcome the challenges in the coming years.