Skip to main content


Log in

HIV Risk Behaviours and Determinants Among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
AIDS and Behavior Aims and scope Submit manuscript


There is a potentially high risk of HIV spreading from people living with HIV/AIDS. We conducted a cross-sectional study to examine HIV risk behaviours and their determinants among people living with HIV/AIDS. Eighty-two percent had been sexually active. Sex with multiple partners was reported by 20% and consistent condom use by about one third. More than half of the participants (52%) reported having injected drugs during the previous month, and 35% of those had shared needles and syringes. Voluntary HIV testing and having received condoms or injection equipment from the local HIV prevention program, were found to be significantly associated with fewer HIV risk behaviours. Having learned recently about personal HIV status, multiple sex partners, low educational attainment and young age were found to be associated with higher HIV risk behaviours. Giving high priority to targeted preventive and support programmes is likely to be a highly cost-effective strategy.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Amirkhanian, Y. A., Kelly, J. A., & McAuliffe, T. L. (2003). Psychosocial needs, mental health, and HIV transmission risk behavior among people living with HIV/AIDS in St Petersburg, Russia. AIDS (London, England), 17, 2367–2374. doi:10.1097/00002030-200311070-00012.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bentley, M. E., Spratt, K., Shepherd, M. E., Gangakhedkar, R. R., Thilikavathi, S., Bollinger, R. C., et al. (1998). HIV testing and counseling among men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics in Pune, India: Changes in condom use and sexual behavior over time. AIDS (London, England), 12, 1869–1877. doi:10.1097/00002030-199814000-00019.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Browning, M. R., Evans, M. R., & Rees, C. M. (2003). Continued high-risk sexual behaviour among HIV-positive people in Wales. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 14, 737–739. doi:10.1258/09564620360719769.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crepaz, N., Lyles, C. M., Wolitski, R. J., Passin, W. F., Rama, S. M., Herbst, J. H., et al. (2006). Do prevention interventions reduce HIV risk behaviours among people living with HIV? A meta-analytic review of controlled trials. AIDS (London, England), 20, 143–157. doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000196166.48518.a0.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dinh, T. H., Detels, R., & Nguyen, M. A. (2005). Factors associated with declining HIV testing and failure to return for results among pregnant women in Vietnam. AIDS (London England), 19, 1234–1236. doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000176228.09474.59.

    Google Scholar 

  • Duong, C. T., Nguyen, T. H., Hoang, T. T., Nguyen, V. V., Do, T. M., Pham, V. H., et al. (2008). Sexual risk and bridging behaviors among young people in Hai Phong, Vietnam. AIDS and Behavior, 12(4), 643–651. doi:10.1007/s10461-007-9265-0.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • General Statistical Office (GSO), National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) [Vietnam] and ORC Macro. (2006). Vietnam Population and AIDS Indicator Survey 2005. Calverton, Maryland, USA: CSO, NIHE, and ORC Macro.

  • Godwin, P., O’Farrell, N., & Fylkesnes, K. (2005). Community Action for Preventing HIV/AIDS in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam: A summary of the Project Implementation and results. Asian development Bank.

  • Gorbach, P. M., Ryan, C., Saphonn, V., & Detels, R. (2002). The impact of social, economic and political forces on emerging HIV epidemics. AIDS (London, England), 16(Suppl 4), S35–S43.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grayman, J. H., Nhan do, T., Huong, P. T., Jenkins, R. A., Carey, J. W., West, G. R., et al. (2005). Factors associated with HIV testing, condom use, and sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in Nha Trang, Vietnam. AIDS and Behavior, 9, 41–51. doi:10.1007/s10461-005-1680-5.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kalichman, S. C. (1999). Psychological and social correlates of high-risk sexual behaviour among men and women living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS Care, 11, 415–427. doi:10.1080/09540129947794.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kalichman, S. C. (2000). HIV transmission risk behaviors of men and women living with HIV-AIDS: Prevalence, predictors, and emerging clinical interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7(1), 32–47. doi:10.1093/clipsy/7.1.32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kalichman, S. C. (2007). Recent multiple sexual partners and HIV transmission risks among people living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 83, 371–375. doi:10.1136/sti.2006.023630.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kalichman, S. C., Kelly, J. A., & Rompa, D. (1997). Continued high-risk sex among HIV seropositive gay and bisexual men seeking HIV prevention services. Health Psychology, 16, 369–373. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.16.4.369.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kiene, S. M., Christie, S., Cornman, D. H., Fisher, W. A., Shuper, P. A., Pillay, S., et al. (2006). Sexual risk behaviour among HIV-positive individuals in clinical care in urban KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AIDS (London, England), 20, 1781–1784. doi:10.1097/01.aids.0000242827.05120.55.

    Google Scholar 

  • Metsch, L. R., McCoy, C. B., Lai, S., & Miles, C. (1998). Continuing risk behaviors among HIV seropositive chronic drug users in Miami, Florida. AIDS and Behavior, 2, 161–169. doi:10.1023/A:1022151014770.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ministry of Health (MOH). (2006). Final report of project “Community action for preventing HIV/AIDS” in five provinces in Vietnam: Dien bien, Quang tri, An giang, and Dong thap. Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • Ministry of Health (MOH). (2007). National HIV/AIDS monthly report. August 2007. Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • Nguyen, A. T. (2005). Voluntary Counseling and Testing on HIV/AIDS for Pregnant Women at Antenatal Clinics: Obstacles and Challenges.

  • Nguyen, T. A., Hoang, L. T., Pham, V. Q., & Detels, R. (2001). Risk factors for HIV-1 seropositivity in drug users under 30 years old in Haiphong, Vietnam. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 96, 405–413. doi:10.1046/j.1360-0443.2001.9634055.x.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nguyen, A. T., Nguyen, T. H., Pham, K. C., Le, T. G., Bui, D. T., Hoang, T. L., et al. (2004a). Intravenous drug use among street-based sex workers: a high-risk behavior for HIV transmission. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 31, 15–19. doi:10.1097/01.OLQ.0000105002.34902.B5.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nguyen, T. H., Nguyen, T. L., & Trinh, Q. H. (2004b). HIV/AIDS epidemics in Vietnam: Evolution and responses. AIDS Education and Prevention, 16, 137–154.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE). (1994–2006). HIV/AIDS annual report. Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • Non-author. (2000). Efficacy of voluntary HIV-1 counselling and testing in individuals and couples in Kenya, Tanzania, and Trinidad: A randomised trial. The voluntary HIV-1 counseling and testing efficacy study group. Lancet, 356, 103–112. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02446-6.

  • Rosenthal, D., & Oanha, T. T. (2006). Listening to female sex workers in Vietnam: Influences on safe-sex practices with clients and partners. Sexual Health, 3, 21–32. doi:10.1071/SH05040.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ruxrungtham, K., Brown, T., & Phanuphak, P. (2004). HIV/AIDS in Asia. Lancet, 364(9428), 69–82. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16593-8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Strathdee, S. A., & Patterson, T. L. (2006). Behavioral interventions for HIV-positive and HCV-positive drug users. AIDS and Behavior, 10, 115–130. doi:10.1007/s10461-005-9055-5.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Sweat, M., Gregorich, S., Sangiwa, G., Furlonge, C., Balmer, D., Kamenga, C., et al. (2000). Cost-effectiveness of voluntary HIV-1 counselling and testing in reducing sexual transmission of HIV-1 in Kenya and Tanzania. Lancet, 356, 113–121. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02447-8.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tran, T. N., Detels, R., & Lan, H. P. (2006b). Condom use and its correlates among female sex workers in Hanoi, Vietnam. AIDS and Behavior, 10, 159–167. doi:10.1007/s10461-005-9061-7.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tran, T. N., Detels, R., Long, H. T., & Lan, H. P. (2005). Drug use among female sex workers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 100, 619–625. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01055.x.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tran, T. M., Nguyen, H., Yatsuya, H., Hamajima, N., Nishimura, A., & Ito, K. (2006a). HIV prevalence and factors associated with HIV infection among male injection drug users under 30: a cross-sectional study in Long An, Vietnam. BMC Public Health, 6, 248. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-248.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Tuan, N. A., Fylkesnes, K., Thang, B. D., Hien, N. T., Long, N. T., Kinh, N. V., et al. (2007). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection patterns and risk behaviours in different population groups and provinces in Viet Nam. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 85(1), 35–41.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • UNAIDS. (2006). 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic.

  • Van de Perre, P. (2000). HIV voluntary counselling and testing in community health services. Lancet, 356, 86–87. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02462-4.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS control. We are especially indebted to Dr. Trinh Quan Huan, Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, and Dr. Pham Duc Manh at Ministry of Health, and Dr. Pham Hong Thang, Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Ha, Dr. Lam Thi Thanh Thuy, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha and Dr. Nguyen Le Hai at the Sub-Committee of HIV/AIDS Surveillance, National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for their close involvement in the study. We are very grateful to the staff of the 20 Global Fund-supported provinces for their contributions to the conduct of the study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Duong Cong Thanh.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Thanh, D.C., Hien, N.T., Tuan, N.A. et al. HIV Risk Behaviours and Determinants Among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam. AIDS Behav 13, 1151–1159 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: