Enhancing Cross-Border Mechanisms against HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly with the with the National Center of AIDS Prevention organized a Conference on Migration and HIV/AIDS in Armenia within the framework of the Enhancing Cross-Border Mechanisms for Prevention, Detection and Treatment of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis among Migrant and Mobile Populations in the South Caucasus Region” Regional Project funded by IOM Development Fund. The conference took place on 18th of January 2019 at the Marriott Armenia Hotel.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health, Border Guard Troops, Migration Service, UN Agencies, Foreign Representations in Armenia, and NGOs participated in the Conference. 

During the Conference the main facts and tendencies in fighting HIV/AIDS and other diseases amongst Armenian labour migrants as well as Armenia’s experience in combating HIV/AIDS in migrant sending communities, were discussed.

Also, the results of the “Migrant Health Survey on Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and Health Services Response for Migrants” implemented within the framework of the project have been presented and discussed.

According to the survey:

  • HIV prevalence among labour migrants is 0,5% 
  • Hepatitis B  prevalence among labour migrants is 0,9%
  • Hepatitis C prevalence among labour migrants is 0,7%
  • Though almost 90% of migrants report easy access to health care services at home only 37% visited a doctor in the past year.  And only 14% of migrants visited doctor while abroad
  • Migrants do not consider themselves at risk for an HIV or TB infection
  • Migrants would not seek HIV testing or TB screening unless recommended by a doctor, they will become very sick or it was required
  • Stigma and fear of deportation are very important barriers to HIV testing and TB screening.