Members of different religious and social groups got together at a symposium to discuss HIV and AIDS in Vietnam.

On December 2, the “Faith Builds Bridges” symposium held at the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception’s mother house saw more than 80 representatives from different groups attend, the Global Sisters Report reported.

The superior of the congregation, Sister Maria Pham Thi Bich Thuy said the symposium’s goal is to motivate communities and groups to bring an end to the HIV and AIDS epidemic, as well as to show care for those suffering from the disease and virus.

Sister Thuy added that the event also allowed participants to share their own experiences in helping HIV/AIDS patients.

Thich Nu Lien Huong, a Buddhist nun and the head of an HIV/AIDS volunteer group, said Christian and Buddhist volunteers in Hue City have joined hands to help people with the disease since 1996. Patients are given food, vocational training and even some money for them to kickstart new lives.

Despite the epidemic having stabilized in recent years, HIV is still a serious problem in Vietnam. In 2016, there were about 11,000 new infections, and across the country almost 7,800 deaths were linked to HIV and AIDS.