YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The UN-AIDS Office is going to expand its presence in the Transcaucasus. Representatives of the European branch of the Office arrived in Armenia to study the situation. There are currently 73 HIV-infected persons in Armenia.
During a meeting with journalists yesterday the representatives of the UN-AIDS Office pointed out most of the 73 persons were infected through sexual intercourse. Specialists pay particular attention to the public propaganda aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS. The head of the Republican Center for AIDS Prevention–Lev Zohrabian reported that the teaching aids developed by the Center have already been tested in some of the Yerevan schools. An educational program for senior schoolchildren has already been submitted to the Ministry of Science and Education.
Experts attached great importance to dealing with the so-called risk groups. They believe that prohibitory and discriminating measurs are not efficient. Preventive measures are much more efficient–as treatment of patients is much more expensive.
The experts believe that both government and public organizations should work with these groups.
The head sanitary inspector of Armenia–Manvel Manrikian pointed out that all AIDS-tests are free.
During their visit the UN-AIDS Office representatives met with officials of a number of ministries who–according to the representatives–should participate in the struggle against AIDS. These include the Ministry of the Interior and National Security–Ministry of Health–Ministry of Social Security–Ministry of Science and Education as well as the representatives of the government staff. The world anti-AIDS program is supported by the UN-AIDS leading committee and the partners–UN offices–in particular–UNICEF–UNESCO–WHO–UNDP–and the World Bank.