NEWS

2008-12-01 | News
December 1st - The World Aids Day in UN Armenia Office

Today a press conference devoted to the World AIDS Day has been held in the UN House. Heads of UN agencies - namely of UNICEF and UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP RR, chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee, Deputy Minister of Health, Director of National AIDS Center, a Holy Father from the Araratian Diocese, and a specialized NGO representative were among the speakers.

For the first time the World AIDS Day was organized by the World Health Organization on 1 December 1988. Since that day each year December 1st is commemorated as the World AIDS Day all over the world with the aim to attract the attention of wider sections of the society to the problem of HIV/AIDS, involving new organizations, groups and individuals into the field of prevention. Each year this day is commemorated under different slogans reflecting the vital problems of the current period. Starting from 2005 and during the next years the World AIDS Campaign will be held under the slogan “Stop AIDS. Keep the promise”.

In June 2001 the objective of the UNGASS was to unite the whole world for solving comprehensive problem of the response to HIV epidemic. With this aim the UN Member States, including the Republic of Armenia, adopted the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, which became the first global programme on activities related to HIV response.

The consent of the state leaders and government representatives to support the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was an important event in the history of HIV/AIDS pandemic. With this the Governments accepted that urgent activities are required to respond to HIV/AIDS pandemic. At the same time, for the first time the governments have jointly accepted that AIDS is a global challenge and requires step by step global activities to achieve success in the response to HIV/AIDS.

In 2006 during the other session of the UNGASS, with Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS the Governments also committed to ensure scaling up towards the Universal Access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

Prioritizing the issue of responding to HIV/AIDS and being consistent with the commitments undertaken by signing the Declaration, the RA Government approved the National Programme on the Response to HIV Epidemic in the Republic of Armenia for 2007-2011, which follows the previous five-year programme. Starting from 2003 to February 2009 the National AIDS Programme will be implemented with the support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Within the framework of the Programme various preventive projects among most-at-risk populations and youth - are continuing to be implemented countrywide, treatment, care and support are provided to people living with HIV, PMTCT is implemented, voluntary counseling and testing for HIV is given, donated blood safety is ensured, HIV laboratory diagnostics is performed, etc. The implemented activities are coordinated by the Country Coordination Commission on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria issues in the Republic of Armenia (CCM), 37 members of which represent 13 governmental, 5 international, 9 local non-governmental organizations, 4 UN agencies, as well as people living with HIV.

Comparison of the results of biological and behavioral surveillances conducted in 2005 and 2007 revealed improvement in both biological and behavioral indicators in our country as a result of implemented activities. Thus, HIV prevalence among the main population group vulnerable to HIV - IDUs has reduced from 9.3% to 6.8%. The data also revealed certain increasing in level of knowledge on HIV prevention and reducing exhibition of risk behaviors among most-at-risk populations. These positive trends prove effectiveness of HIV prevention and harm reduction programmes implemented among different population groups by the methodological support of the National Center for AIDS Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Armenia. And effective prevention saves billions of money required for HIV treatment, care and support.

The Principal Recipient “World Vision - Armenia” organization is responsible for the implementation of the GFATM-supported Programme, through more than 20 sub-recipient organizations selected through open and transparent process.

According to the data of the GFATM Observer Issue 97 of 3 November 2008, Armenia is the 8th among the ten highest-ranked countries in terms of average grant performance, out of 114 countries implementing GFATM-supported programmes. PR “World Vision International” is the 4th among the ten highest-ranked PRs in terms of average grant performance. This proves high international rating of our grant implementation and high evaluation of the results of reaching the programme targets.

The experience of many countries, including Armenia proves that focused and complex activities can stop and reverse the epidemic. However, the main precondition for the effectiveness and sustainability of these activities is to ensure their continuity and availability of required resources. With this regards, the support of international organizations in implementation of national strategies on the response to HIV is invaluable.

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