Monday, April 28, 2008

Vietnam to offer heroin addicts methadone

Vietnam has opened clinics offering drug users the substitute drug methadone, to help wean heroin addicts off injected drugs and reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.Two clinics have opened in the northern port city of Haiphong, which has a large number of heroin addicts and high HIV infection levels.It's expected to treat 700 drug users with the heroin substitute methadone from now until December.More clinics will open next month in Ho Chi Minh City, which has the highest HIV infection rate in the country.The United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS has welcomed the program, saying methadone programs can reduce illegal drug use, crime and mortality, as well as reducing the spread of HIV and hepatitis.Observers say around 300,000 people in Vietnam are believed to be living with HIV, the majority of whom are drug users, sex workers and homosexual men.
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