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HIV mother-to-child transmission is eliminated in Armenia

UNAIDS congratulates The Republic of Armenia for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Armenia. During a ceremony in New York City, elimination validation certificate was presented to the Minister of Health of Armenia Armen Muradyan, who was attending the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on ending AIDS.

“Every child growing up free from HIV thanks to antiretroviral medicines is a testimony to the progress the world is making in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV," said UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. “As we meet in New York at the High-level Meeting on Ending AIDS to plan the next, crucial phase of the response to HIV, we will draw upon the successes of these countries to highlight the extraordinary achievements that can be made through the rapid expansion of access to life-saving treatment.”

Armenia is one of the countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia where there is a strong national ownership and high political support and commitment, particularly towards prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV infection in Armenia.

“Maternal and child health care, including the healthy babies born to HIV-positive mothers, is one of the priority tasks of the Ministry of Health of Armenia and obtaining such important certificate for us is not an end in itself. We will make every effort to maintain the achieved status",- said the Minister of Health of the Republic of Armenia Armen Muradyan. 

Among the strategies to achieve the elimination of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission goal, Armenia implemented  provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling for pregnant women, provision of preventive ARV treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women and infants born to them, and great attention was given to ensure financial sustainability of PMTCT Programs. There is a good accessibility to such services for all citizens; non-citizens as well can access antenatal care and PMTCT services.

Armenia’s success in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV is part of the larger progress in its national HIV response in the last ten years.

The country has a tightly integrated system of services on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, maternal and child health, which ensures early diagnostics, provision of quality health care, the most effective treatment and other medical services for all those in need.

The HIV/AIDS situation assessment shows that the estimated number of people living with HIV in the country is about 3600. From 1988 to 31 May 2016 2349 HIV cases had been registered in the country among the citizens of the Republic of Armenia with 334 new cases of HIV infection registered during 2014, which exceeds the number of HIV cases registered annually in the recent years. During 2015 294 new HIV infection cases was registered. HIV prevalence among people aged 15-49 is 0.2%. Since 2007 no HIV case has been registered among the children born to HIV-positive mothers provided with ARV prophylaxis.