European Week on HIV / Hepatitis Researchadmin
The theme of 2017 European Testing Week, 17–24 November, was aligned with World AIDS Day in raising awareness on the issue of late diagnosis of HIV infection. In the eastern part of the WHO European Region, 1 in 3 people are unaware of their HIV status. In the rest of the Region, the figure stands at 1 in 7.
European Testing Week advocates for both HIV and hepatitis testing. In the Region, about 15 million people live with chronic hepatitis B and 14 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus. As the infection often remains asymptomatic for decades, most people who have contracted the disease live unaware of the infection until severe complications develop.
The goal of European Testing Week in Armenia was to raise awareness of the benefits of HIV and hepatitis testing, thus contributing to earlier diagnosis and access to treatment and health-care services. The campaign has taken place in 8 cities around the country.
This year, “Positive People Armenian Network”soc. NGO was one of over 650 organizations and individuals around the world who have pledged their support to ETW and have carried out several events across the country providingprevention and treatment information as well as rapid and free tests for HIV and hepatitis B and C. Screening for Syphilis was also offered as part of the mentioned rapid tests.
Radio announcements were made in relevant cities prior to the testing events explaining the importance of getting tested. Local Telecom company have showed its support to the initiative by sending free SMS informing the public of the date and location of the World AIDS Day. “Positive People Armenian Network” soc. NGO collaborated closely with the local media through press releases, interviews and press conferences prior, during and after the events.
Those who had a positive result from the rapid tests were linked to care and treatment. Unfortunately DAAs are not available in Armenia thus free confirmatory tests were carried out for those who tested positive to HCV and were informed of how best to reduce the effects on their liver. Information was given about “Buyers Clubs”.
One of the main goals of this event in relation to HCV was to get a more realistic idea on the possible number of undiagnosed HCV cases in the country, to urge the government on taking steps towards the creation of a national HCV prevention and treatment program. Our aim is to have affordable testing and treatment for all, and free all inclusive treatment and care to the most vulnerable groups.
During the period 17th of November to 1st of December (including World AIDS Day), 2397 people were offered to be screened for HIV,HCV,HBV and Syphilis out of which 1104 people have accepted to take the test.
Further information could be seen in the charts below
A. Number of people tested per Gender
B. Number of people tested per Age Group
C. Number of people tested per City
D. Total number of reactive/positiveout of 1104 tests
The percentage of reactive/positive tests is as follows:
It is worth mentioning that 2017 European HIV/Hepatitis Testing Week events were carried out by the financial support of Gilead Pharmaceuticals and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Center for AIDS Prevention and UNAIDS office in Armenia.
Photos see below: