Cross-border Cooperation for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the South Caucasus and the Russian Federation | EUNewsletter

Cross-border Cooperation for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the South Caucasus and the Russian Federation

8 April 2014

On 26 March the closing meeting of the “Cross-border Cooperation for HIV Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the South Caucasus and the Russian Federation” took place at the Armenian National Centre of AIDS Prevention. This EU-funded project has been implemented by World Vision Armenia, in cooperation with “Real World, Real People” NGO.
The project was aimed at raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among migrants and their families in order to dispel fears of getting tested. The organisations tried to improve dialogue between governmental institutions and civil society organisations, as well as make healthcare services available for migrants and their families in both Armenia and the Russian Federation.
Indeed, the most vulnerable group to HIV/AIDS is migrant workers, who leave the country to work abroad every year. According to Russian legislation, migrant workers have the opportunity to access medical consultation. However, if HIV/AIDS is detected, the migrant must be deported from the Russian Federation. As a consequence, most migrant workers avoid taking HIV/AIDS tests. In Armenia itself, people are afraid of the social stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, and as a result refuse to get tested.
Samvel Grigoryan, the Head of National Centre of AIDS Prevention, stated: ‘One of the most precious achievements of this project is that we succeeded in “spreading the word”. Overall, we have conducted 67 seminars, involving 2,010 participants over two years, and 48 professionals took part in training courses for social workers. We had workshops for healthcare staff in the regions of Armenia and also had focus group discussions with HIV/AIDS-infected people and migrant workers’.
Over a two-year period, professionals from implementing organisations carried out a series of training courses and seminars in the towns of Gavar, Stepanavan, Vanadzor, and Yerevan. In addition, mobile testing laboratories were set up in Yerevan in July 2013, where people could anonymously check their HIV/AIDS status. Overall, more than 450 people took blood tests, with 150 people registering for blood tests within the course of one day. On 1 December 2013, World HIV/AIDS Day, Armenia joined the European week of HIV/AIDS awareness. Within the framework of this initiative, a number of public events were held, including theatre pieces.

Cross-border Cooperation for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the South Caucasus and the Russian Federation

On 26 March the closing meeting of the “Cross-border Cooperation for HIV Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the South Caucasus and the Russian Federation” took place at the Armenian National Centre of AIDS Prevention. This EU-funded project has been implemented by World Vision Armenia, in cooperation with “Real World, Real People” NGO. The project was aimed at raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among migrants and their families in order to dispel fears of getting tested. The organisations tried to improve dialogue between governmental institutions and civil society organisations, as well as make healthcare services available for migrants and their families in both Armenia and the Russian Federation. Indeed, the most vulnerable group to HIV/AIDS is migrant workers, who leave the country to work abroad every year. According to Russian legislation, migrant workers have the opportunity to access medical consultation. However, if HIV/AIDS is detected, the migrant must be deported from the Russian Federation. As a consequence, most migrant workers avoid taking HIV/AIDS tests. In Armenia itself, people are afraid of the social stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, and as a result refuse to get tested. Samvel Grigoryan, the Head of National Centre of AIDS Prevention, stated: ‘One of the most precious achievements of this project is that we succeeded in “spreading the word”. Overall, we have conducted 67 seminars, involving 2,010 participants over two years, and 48 professionals took part in training courses for social workers. We had workshops for healthcare staff in the regions of Armenia and also had focus group discussions with HIV/AIDS-infected people and migrant workers’. Over a two-year period, professionals from implementing organisations carried out a series of training courses and seminars in the towns of Gavar, Stepanavan, Vanadzor, and Yerevan. In addition, mobile testing laboratories were set up in Yerevan in July 2013, where people could anonymously check their HIV/AIDS status. Overall, more than 450 people took blood tests, with 150 people registering for blood tests within the course of one day. On 1 December 2013, World HIV/AIDS Day, Armenia joined the European week of HIV/AIDS awareness. Within the framework of this initiative, a number of public events were held, including theatre pieces.