Since 2016, the USAID/PATH Healthy Markets Project, with the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, has introduced and piloted HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and is now scaling it up. Formative research shaped service delivery design where key population-owned private clinics partner with community-based organizations to deliver PrEP and other health services.
In response to COVID-19, Healthy Markets boosted virtual information on and engagement with PrEP services through the project’s PrEP4Love campaign, where interested clients are linked to online risk screening and customized counselling from a peer. Existing telehealth services were expanded due to clinic closures and those opting for PrEP were provided with a blood-based HIV self-test kit (delivered based on client preferences by mail, courier, drop off or in-person pickup). The client was led through the test online or by a physically distanced health worker. HIV-negative clients were provided with three months of PrEP (either daily oral or event-driven PrEP for men who have sex with men) by home delivery.
From 1 January to 20 May 2020, 1,510 people were newly initiated on PrEP, with a 32% increase in new enrolments over the two last weeks pre-lockdown. There was a significant decline in new enrolments during lockdown and a return to normal enrolment levels in May. In total, 88% of clients due for their three-monthly refill during the lockdown period successfully secured it.