A total of 482 cases of HIV have been recorded in Armenia in the first nine months of 2023. Ever since 1988, a total of 5,535 cases of the HIV infection have been rerecorded in Armenia, and now we have 4,356 people [in the country] living with HIV. Stepan Atoyan, Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases of Armenia, announced this during the press conference held Friday on the occasion of the World AIDS Day.
"Our objective is to increase detectability of HIV cases [in Armenia]. According to the modeled calculation figures, only 74 percent of our citizens know about their HIV status, and it is necessary to unite efforts to increase the number. Our objective is that at least 95 percent of people [in Armenia] with HIV status know about their status," said Atoyan.
According to him, in the last one year, they had a higher detectability compared to the previous years.
"In the period from January 1 to October 31, 2023, 421 cases of HIV were recorded among Armenian citizens, and 61 cases among foreign citizens [in Armenia]," Atoyan said.
"The mobile clinics of the National Center for Infectious Diseases visit the provinces [of Armenia] in accordance with a pre-planned schedule, among migrants, as they are considered a risk group, conduct free examinations for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis; free consultations are provided," he added.
The director of the aforesaid center added that people can be tested for HIV and hepatitis free of charge, as well as respective medical interventions and drugs in 83 medical institutions of Armenia.
And speaking about risk groups, Stepan Atoyan stated as follows: "The infection is transmitted sexually, intravenously, and from mother to fetus. We note migrants in the risk group because as they travel to countries with higher HIV prevalence, they are at greater risk there of contracting the virus through unprotected sex. Also, persons using intravenous drugs have this risk, as well as persons providing commercial sexual services.
"If we talk about the gender-age distribution [in Armenia], for years it has been formed in such a way that about 70 percent of men and 30 percent of women are diagnosed with the disease. The largest [risk] group is the 25-39 age group. The highest HIV rates are recorded in Shirak Province, followed by Lori and Gegharkunik [Provinces].”