1520 HIV cases registered in Armenia as global infections number falls

1520 HIV cases registered in Armenia as global infections number falls

PanARMENIAN.Net - The number of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths has fallen dramatically, a UN report says, according to BBC News.

Death rates fell from 2.3 million during its peak in 2005 to 1.6 million last year, UNAIDS says.

The number of new HIV infections fell by a third since 2001 to 2.3 million. Among children, the drop was even steeper. In 2001 there were more than half a million new infections. By 2012 the figure had halved to just over a quarter of a million.

The authors put the fall in deaths and infection rates in children down to better access to antiretroviral drugs which help suppress the virus.

Without treatment, people with HIV can go on to develop AIDS which makes simple infections deadly. By the end of 2012 almost 10m people in low and middle income countries, including South Africa, Uganda and India, were accessing antiretroviral therapy, according to the report.

The improved access is being attributed to drugs being more affordable and available in communities, as well as more people coming forward for help.

According to UNAIDS, the world is "closing in" on its Millennium Development Goals to stop and reverse the AIDS epidemic by 2015.

But it says the world can go beyond its target of getting 15 million people on HIV treatment by 2015. The World Health Organization has now revised its guidelines making even more people eligible for treatment.

The report also found that progress has been slow in providing HIV services to people who are most at risk of infection, like those who inject drugs.

And it highlights the need to do more to deal with sexual violence against women and girls. They make up a key group of people vulnerable to infection.

Bev Collins, Health Policy Advisor at Doctors without Borders said: "Huge leaps forward have been made to make sure that millions of people - especially in the developing world - can access lifesaving HIV treatment at an affordable price.

"But this is no time for complacency. We need to keep on rolling out access to better treatment strategies, expanding access to accurate, cost-effective testing, and to care"

In March 2013, the Armenian government approved HIV/AIDS national program for 2013-2016. The list of events, budget, monitoring plan and assessment were also approved.

According to the Armenian National AIDS Center, 1520 HIV cases had been registered in the country among the citizens of the Republic of Armenia from 1988 to August 31, 2013, with 228 new cases of HIV infection registered during 2012, which exceeds the number of HIV cases registered annually in the previous years.

Males constitute a major part in the total number of HIV cases - 1066 cases (70.1%), females make up 454 cases (29.9%). 1520 reported cases include 28 cases of HIV infection among children (1.8%). 55.5% of the HIV-infected individuals belong to the age group of 25-39 at the moment of the HIV diagnosis receipt.

In the Republic of Armenia the main modes of HIV transmission are through heterosexual practices (58.1%) and injecting drug use (32.2%). Additionally, there are also registered cases through homosexual practices, as well as mother-to-child HIV transmission and transmission through blood.

AIDS diagnosis was made to 777 patients with HIV, of whom 199 are women and 14 are children. 133 of all the AIDS cases have been registered during 2012. From the beginning of the epidemic 340 death cases have been registered among HIV/AIDS patients (including 58 women and 6 children).

Almost all the individuals infected via injecting drug use were men. As a matter of fact, the majority of them temporarily inhabited in the Russian Federation and the Ukraine and was probably infected with HIV there. In addition, 46% of all the HIV-infected males are individuals who practice injecting drug usage, while almost all the women (97.5%) were infected through sexual contacts.

The maximum number of HIV cases was reported in Yerevan, the capital: 573 cases, which constitute 37.7% of all the registered cases. Shirak province follows next - 168 cases, which constitute 11.1% of all the registered cases. The estimation of HIV registered cases per 100 000 population shows the highest rate in Shirak province – 66.9, followed by Lori province, Yerevan, Armavir province with the rates of 61.8, 53.7 and 47.5 respectively.

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