Reintegrating Residents of Rehabilitation Camps in Northern Vietnam; the Cactus Blossom Support Group for Female ex-IDUs

Published on 1 January 2007

Thousands of Vietnamese drug users and sex workers, many of whom are also HIV infected, are forcefully incarcerated in rehabilitation centres. Forced rehabilitation of drug users and sex workers in this country has been unsuccessful because the majority of released residents relapse within 18 months.

This, therefore, calls for a new approach in addressing the plight of drug users and sex workers upon their release from incarceration. Together with the authorities and a group of returning female residents, the Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV) piloted a voluntary community-based reintegration programme for women in Hanoi: the Cactus Blossom support group.


Pauline Oosterhoff

Research Fellow

Publication details

Oosterhoff, P. and Nguyen T. H.


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