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CARE Vietnam's action research approach to HIV / AIDS, results, and ramifications for future policy and programming.
In: Resource material on HIV / AIDS in Vietnam, [compiled by] Care International in Vietnam. Hanoi, Viet Nam, CARE International in Vietnam, . 66-74.As part of its mission to assist disadvantaged segments of Vietnamese society in their efforts to achieve economic and social well-being, CARE Viet Nam has outlined innovative, culture-sensitive guidelines for combatting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). CARE's AIDS strategy includes four elements: 1) advice, advocacy, and consultation among nongovernmental organizations, national and provincial governments, and regional CAREs; 2) information, education, and communication projects involving in-depth audience analyses and use of key informants; 3) direct assistance projects in which CARE conducts the research, disseminates results, and transfers expertise to local partners through training activities; and 4) indirect assistance by sharing libraries, access to donors, and information. In its AIDS activities, CARE has targeted young men 14-28 years of age, women, and health professionals/decision makers. CARE's approach is based on action research in which monitoring, reflecting, and evaluating are used to respond to changing environments. At the same time, CARE has struggled to avoid moving too far ahead of social norms, being too non-Vietnamese, or appearing to take the lead away from the government. Two CARE research projects--peer education for commercial sex workers and a book of oral histories of six people with AIDS--are nearing completion. Activities planned for 1995 include production of a televised soap opera with an AIDS education theme, business skills training for commercial sex workers, training in assertiveness and sexual negotiation for women, and the development of "condom coffee shops" for young people.