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Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Feb;18(2):212-8. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12032. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Financial burden of health care for HIV/AIDS patients in Vietnam.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



To assess the out-of-pocket (OOP) payments for health-care services of HIV/AIDS patients, and identify associated factors in Vietnam.


Cross-sectional multisite survey of 1016 HIV/AIDS patients attending 7 hospitals and health centres in Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City in 2012.


HIV/AIDS patients used inpatient and outpatient care on average 5.1 times (95% CI = 4.7-5.4) besides ART services. Inpatient care cost US$ 461 on average and outpatient care US$ 50. Mean annual health-care expenditure for HIV/AIDS patients was US$ 188 (95% CI = 148-229). 35.1% of households (95% CI = 32.2-38.1) experienced catastrophic health expenditure; 73.3% (95% CI = 70.6-76.1) of households would be affected if ART were not subsidised. Being a patient at a provincial clinic, male sex, unstable employment, being in the poorest income quintile, a CD4 count of <200 cells/mL and not yet receiving ART increased the likelihood of catastrophic medical expense.


HIV/AIDS patients in Vietnam frequently use medical services and incur OOP payments for health care. Scaling up free-of-charge ART services, earlier access to and initiation of ART, and decentralisation and integration of HIV/AIDS-related services could reduce their financial burden.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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