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Viet Nam Background Youth and Adolescents

Around 57 per cent of the country’s population are under 25 years old. The Vietnamese Government has made significant progress with respect to the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action through its population and reproductive health programme, especially in extending basic and reproductive health care to large portions of the population. However the reproductive health needs of young people and adolescents have so far not received enough attention. Targeting adolescents is still an innovation in Viet Nam and implementation involves a high degree of creativity to adapt services and approaches to the special needs and priorities of young people.

There are currently 24 million young people from 10 to 24 years of age in Viet Nam. According to the 1999 census, adolescents and youth will continue to make up approximately one third of the population for the next 15 years. These young people are facing serious problems related to their reproductive health:

- Approximately 30% of youth are sexually active prior to marriage

- Use of modern contraception among young people is very low, and few know how to use contraception correctly.

- The number of young women and girls experiencing early pregnancy and seeking abortions is high, and an estimated 30% of all abortions are carried out among young, unmarried women (MOH 1997).

- The number of adolescents involved in commercial sex services is increasing and Vietnam is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of new HIV infections. Over 40% of all reported HIV cases are among young people

Moreover, young people lack information and knowledge on reproductive health, and services are not youth-friendly. Thus, young people in Vietnamlack access to supportive, non-judgemental services, providing respectful and confidential treatment.


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