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Sexual health in Vietnam
Access to sexual and reproductive healthcare is a human right, and in the rapidly-developing region of ASEAN, it is an area that requests much attention. With the young people population – standing at 25 million making up one third of the entire country, Vietnam is undoubtedly in the spotlight, which signals a clear need to ensure comprehensive sexuality education and services for the youth in our healthcare system.
The demand and supply
Vietnam has made notable progress over the years in increasing healthcare for sexual and reproductive health services, but there remains a gap in accessing these services by the population due to economic status, remoteness of residence, and other socio-economic determinants. The social stigma associated with seeking these services is also present nationwide, shifting the demand for these services to the private healthcare industry. However, private health plagued by fragmentation and imperfect information has made the transition harder physically.
Tech-savvy young people are hence turning to online services and sources to answer their queries, as sexual health remains a socially sensitive area to consult their family and friends. This also became evident on Docosan when we monitored our website traffic, with searches on sexual health services remaining steady over many months since our platform was founded.
The sexual health specialty on Docosan
Sexual health, which includes both men and women’s health, is an area that Docosan strives to continuously improve on our platform. Apart from our qualified private OGBYNs, we host partners such as Marie Stopes International, Galant, AloCare, Glink, and Hong Ha General Hospital across various major cities. These providers are well-known for their role as sexual health leaders in the industry with various tests and services they offer in the specialty, and are highly trusted by many patients due to their high credibility.
Due to the healthcare system being overstretched by the pandemic, there have been increasing reports of both maternal and reproductive health services being reduced in the country temporarily. With lockdowns and transportation difficulties, especially in smaller cities and ethnic areas, Docosan can only imagine the stress and anxiety that our mothers and patients are facing.
When the pandemic stabilizes, Docosan has plans to distribute primary sexual health packages in collaboration with our NGO partners to sell affordable birth control and contraceptives. With wider delivery options by then, we hope to reach a wider audience of patients and users within our community, not only providing them with convenience to obtain essential packages but also educating them about safe sex and family planning. With a trusted and certified source, citizens can make purchases from the comfort of their homes while being assured of its reliability.
To increase the accessibility of sexual health services, our separate platform Docosan Cares recently launched sexual health test kits such as HIV test kit, common 3 STD test kit, and standard 5 STD test kit. These kits test for common sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis and Syphilis, allowing Docosan’s users to protect their and partners’ sexual health and maintain a healthy intimate life.
These test kits are created in collaboration with our NGO partners in hopes to reach a wider audience of young, sexually active users within the community, not only providing them with convenience to obtain essential packages but also educating them about the importance of safe sex. The kits are competitively priced, and with guaranteed 24-hour delivery to users in Ho Chi Minh City, and within 4 days nationwide. Medically certified and designed with discreet packaging, users can now make purchases from the comfort of their homes while being assured of its reliability and privacy.
Creation of HAIVN app for HIV awareness
Docosan’s reach in sexual health also extends to the LGBTQ community, with testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV and services such as hormone therapy being available on the platform.
At the start of this year, the Vietnamese Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VACC) of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam spearheaded a project to create the Vietnam HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines app for medical doctors. This project was in partnership with the Ministry of Health’s VAAC , the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), and Health Development Cooperation in Vietnam (HAIVN). The app includes guidelines to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV infections across the country and monitor patients’ conditions while reducing delays.
Docosan had a remarkable role in this project, having participated as the app’s designer to build its technology end-to-end. Docosan incorporated useful features such as clinical calculators, bookmarking favorite sections, and keyword searches.
This was another step that Docosan took towards educating healthcare professionals with up-to-date medical information about STIs. The app will also be periodically updated, ensuring health workers are provided with reliable and accurate information to guide their work.
Docosan’s work in promoting sexual and reproductive health services will be ever-evolving. We will constantly strive to hear and meet the demand of all our diverse users and work towards improving the accessibility of our sexual and reproductive health services in the long run. We hope Vietnam and the world will keep their eyes on what we are capable of together.