Yesterday, at the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), PATH’s Bao Ngoc Vu, MD, received one of the International AIDS Society/Merck Sharpe & Dohme Prizes for Operational and Implementation Research in Differentiated Service Delivery in recognition of outstanding research in differentiated service delivery.
Bao was awarded the prize for his work to pilot and scale peer-led service delivery models under the US Agency for International Development (USAID)/PATH Healthy Markets project in Vietnam. Programmatic results show that key population (KP)-led lay HIV testing services were more successful in reaching first-time and infrequent testers and that clients preferred pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services delivered by KP-led organizations. These results were used as a tool to advocate with the Vietnam Ministry of Health for nationwide scale-up for community HIV testing in 33 provinces and PrEP in 26 provinces, out of a total of 63 provinces.
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the USAID/PATH Healthy Markets team in Vietnam,” said Bao. "There is a strong preference among key populations in Vietnam to seek services from KP-led organizations, social enterprises, and businesses, and scaling KP-led HIV services is a promising strategy to boost service access among KPs. We've worked hard to create an enabling environment for KPs to increasingly take a leadership role in delivering a range of HIV and other health services."
PATH began introducing KP-led HIV services in Vietnam in 2015, starting with supporting KP community-based organizations to pilot and scale HIV lay and self-testing and then shifting to KP-led partner notification services and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Since 1987, PATH has worked to reduce the impact of HIV, partnering across 32 countries to test more than 10,923,000 people for HIV, enroll more than 281,300 individuals on treatment, and deliver HIV prevention services to more than 11,184,000 at-risk individuals.
Dr. Kimberly Green, PhD, Director of PATH’s HIV/TB Program, notes, “PATH is honored be recognized for our work to scale differentiated client-centered HIV services for the second year in a row at the International AIDS Conference. Dr. Bao is an infectious disease clinician who deeply values the role of the community in the HIV and TB response, and who has long advocated that KP organizations play a major role in service delivery. With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting facility-based service delivery channels and potentially setting back progress made towards global HIV epidemic control goals, expanding the menu of options for where, when, and from whom clients are able to access HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services is critical to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the global HIV response and most importantly, ensure that affected individuals are able to access essential health services.”