Initiative: Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Armenia (EMTCT)
Institution: National Center for Aids Prevention of the Ministry of Health
Problem: The major problem was absence of the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention (PMTCT) services in the country, which affected about 45,000 people annually. It made up nearly 3 per cent of adult population aged 15-49 years old and almost the same number of children born to them. Without treatment, up to 45 per cent HIV-positive children are born to HIV-positive mothers, and they need lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Solution: To solve the problem, large-scale measures were undertaken and successively implemented over the past 15 years, aimed at systematization and coordination of the national AIDS response, establishment of HIV TC system, PMTCT provision, creation of regulatory basis and mechanisms, ensuring universal access to PMTCT countrywide, ensuring necessary financing and capacity, as well as sustainability, and strengthening of the heath care systems.
Impact: Through the initiative, about 45,000 pregnant women undergo free HIV testing annually under the Care State Certificate Program. Relevant laboratory infrastructure has been created in 10 country regions and in Yerevan, the capital, which is used not only for performing HIV tests for pregnant women, but also for HIV testing of blood donors, of patients with clinical indicators, and representatives of key and vulnerable populations. There are trained personnel in all the antenatal clinics in the laboratories. Obstetrician-gynecologists and nurses from all the antenatal clinics, as well as laboratory doctors and assistants from all the laboratories have undergone the National institute of Health HIV Training Course or training-seminars. The initiative also helps to decrease level of stigma and discrimination and to strengthen human rights protection.