The HIV testing information campaign has launched in Armenia, as well as in other Eastern European and Central Asian countries
On December the 1st 2015, the Republic of Armenia (RA) Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) launched the regional HIV testing information campaign. During the event, voluntary testing on HIV was organized in the mobile clinic.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) regional Goodwill Ambassador Vera Brezhneva is leading the regional campaign. She calls everyone to be tested for HIV. The main goal of the campaign is to catch the attention of all those who might be infected with HIV, but who do not know about their status and think that they have nothing to do with testing.
Nearly half of the people living with HIV around the world do not know their own health status as new cases continue to increase in regions such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia. According to current data there are more than 1.5 million people living with HIV in this region. Moreover, annually 150,000 new cases are being registered.
Today, a large percentage of patients only obtain a diagnosis when the symptoms of the disease manifest. However, in terms of availability, ARV treatments are free for RA citizens, but the overall mortality rate from HIV related deaths are largely due to late detection of HIV. Therefore, a need to begin treatments as early as possible is necessary in order to prevent the disease. With an early diagnosis of the infection and appropriate ARV treatment starting times, the patient has a higher chance of an extended life and improved quality of living, as well as preventing the further dissemination of the infection. In order to have early diagnosis in case when the person leads a life of possible HIV infection it is necessary to be tested without even having concrete complaints.
The initiator of the HIV informational campaign is the UNAIDS regional office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in collaboration with social network “Classmates” (Одноклассники). Classmates have over 48 million followers, including people from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and other countries. In addition, Classmates serves as a platform to discuss testing and diagnostics information related to HIV.
From December first onwards, users can learn about HIV testing and treatment issues on the website: ok.ru/test. The website also offers stories about people who have dealt with the issue. The users can also add their pictures. There will be a live broadcast with Vera Brezhneva at 14:00-15:00 Moscow time.
The goals of the new “90-90-90” strategy of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) are:
This informational campaign is aimed towards the first goal out of the “90-90-90” strategy, which is to make aware of those living with HIV about their status.
As of 2014, there were 36.9 million people living with HIV around the world. From 1988 to 1 December 2015, 2,214 cases of HIV infection were registered among the RA citizens in the Republic of Armenia. The HIV/AIDS situation assessment has shown an estimated number of people with HIV living within the republic is 3,800.
Watch the campaign video clip at on YouTube here.
You can find photos from the events of the day here.