How to stop discrimination towards vulnerable groups in Armenia | EUNewsletter

How to stop discrimination towards vulnerable groups in Armenia

18 December 2012

On 15-17 November a National Consultation entitled on HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy was held in Yerevan. As a result of three days of discussions on predicaments faced by vulnerable groups (injecting drug users, women providing commercial sexual activities and men who have sex with men), a preliminary plan for a national HIV strategy aimed at protecting their interests was developed.
Among the issues raised were free medical treatment for sexually transmitted infections, the absence of the opportunity for quick, 5-minute response HIV testing (in Armenia it takes several days), and high levels of discrimination towards vulnerable groups (exacerbated by the lack of legislation in Armenia regulating service provision for vulnerable groups). During the consultation it became clear that representatives of vulnerable groups were not accessing services at medical institutions due to discrimination; there have been cases when the medical staff have offered poor quality services or even refused.
As a primary means of eliminating discrimination, seminar participants highlighted legislative reforms and informational and public awareness raising, not only on HIV but also on vulnerable groups.

Effective activities put forward to prevent HIV infection included mobile laboratories, voluntary consultancy and diagnostic services.

During the press conference following the seminar, the president of the “We for Civil Equality” NGO, Karen Badalian, focused on the Human Rights Defender’s Office, saying it had put forward a draft law which would provide mechanisms for the restoration of rights and the elimination of discrimination.

The Consultation was held within the framework of the three-year, EU-funded “Broader Introduction of Effective HIV Prevention Strategies Targeting Populations at Most Risk in the ENPI-East Region” project. The principal project beneficiaries include IDU, CSW and MSM.

This regional project is implemented by the HIV/AIDS Alliance International in Ukraine. Partner organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and Ukraine are involved in project activites. In Armenia, the project partner is the “We for Civil Equality” NGO.

http://www.wfce.am/

How to stop discrimination towards vulnerable groups in Armenia

On 15-17 November a National Consultation entitled on HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy was held in Yerevan. As a result of three days of discussions on predicaments faced by vulnerable groups (injecting drug users, women providing commercial sexual activities and men who have sex with men), a preliminary plan for a national HIV strategy aimed at protecting their interests was developed. Among the issues raised were free medical treatment for sexually transmitted infections, the absence of the opportunity for quick, 5-minute response HIV testing (in Armenia it takes several days), and high levels of discrimination towards vulnerable groups (exacerbated by the lack of legislation in Armenia regulating service provision for vulnerable groups). During the consultation it became clear that representatives of vulnerable groups were not accessing services at medical institutions due to discrimination; there have been cases when the medical staff have offered poor quality services or even refused. As a primary means of eliminating discrimination, seminar participants highlighted legislative reforms and informational and public awareness raising, not only on HIV but also on vulnerable groups. Effective activities put forward to prevent HIV infection included mobile laboratories, voluntary consultancy and diagnostic services. During the press conference following the seminar, the president of the “We for Civil Equality” NGO, Karen Badalian, focused on the Human Rights Defender's Office, saying it had put forward a draft law which would provide mechanisms for the restoration of rights and the elimination of discrimination. The Consultation was held within the framework of the three-year, EU-funded “Broader Introduction of Effective HIV Prevention Strategies Targeting Populations at Most Risk in the ENPI-East Region” project. The principal project beneficiaries include IDU, CSW and MSM. This regional project is implemented by the HIV/AIDS Alliance International in Ukraine. Partner organisations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and Ukraine are involved in project activites. In Armenia, the project partner is the “We for Civil Equality” NGO. http://www.wfce.am/