Peer education for HIV prevention in the socialist republic of Vietnam: A national assessment

Dang Van Khoat, Gary R. West, Ronald O. Valdiserri, Ngoc Thi Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In 2000, the government of Vietnam conducted the first assessment of its national peer education program for HIV prevention. Twenty (32%) of Vietnam's 61 provinces and urban areas had functioning peer education programs, and program coordinators of all 20 were interviewed regarding their programs. In addition, on-site reviews were done for 10 of the 20 programs, including interviews of peer educators and high-risk persons in each program. The assessment found that a total of 500 peer educators were functioning either independently or as part of one of 79 teams. In the 20 provinces, the peer educators made an estimated 7,000 total contacts per month with high risk persons, but many persons were likely contacted repeatedly. Despite this, coverage was limited: some provinces with high numbers of persons reported with HIV/AIDS had few peer educators. Although most provinces targeted IDU and many targeted CSW, few provinces targeted sex partners of IDU or CSW. The definition of peer education and composition of teams varied substantially by province; only one province included persons living with HIV/AIDS as peer educators. The services provided by peer educators were primarily distributional: delivering information either through word of mouth, pamphlets, or brochures, providing condoms, and sometimes providing clean syringes and needles. Skills building or goal setting interventions aimed at HIV risk reduction were rarely provided. Most provinces had concerns about ongoing funding and sustainability of the programs. Based on the assessment, specific recommendations were provided for strengthening and expanding Vietnam's peer education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV prevention
  • Peer education
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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