Medical Care Department of the National AIDS Center is expanded

11.09.19

  

Today a new infrastructure of the Medical Care Department has been officially opened at the National AIDS Center. The Department has been renovated and equipped under the grant agreement concluded between the Ministry of Health of Armenia and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Global Fund Portfolio Manager for Armenia Valeria Grishechkina and the National AIDS Center Director Dr.Samvel Grigoryan cut the red ribbon, then the ceremony participants made a tour of the newly renovated infrastructure. 

V. Grishechkina noted that she was impressed with the performed work, she expressed gratitude to the Center management and staff for their efforts, wished them health and success.

  

  •     The Department used to occupy the space of 565m2, today, having been expanded by 400m2, it occupies the total floor space of 965m2. That will allow ensuring continuous provision of high quality effective health care to HIV patients, considering growth of numbers of patients in HIV care and on ART in parallel with the increase in annual number of new HIV infections. 

  •     Number of examination and procedure rooms has been increased significantly, working conditions of medical staff have been dramatically improved, enabling them to organize more effectively service provision to the patients, including specialized medical care, ultrasound and x-ray examinations, as well as TB screening. Providing comprehensive services in the same place is in compliance with the WHO approaches and is in the patients’ best interest. That allows organizing the most effective treatment.

  • With the support of the Global Fund Grant, the Department has been equipped with a new sonography machine having the ability to detect liver fibrosis and determine its stage, presence of tumors, which is important for more effective managing of HIV patients.
  • The progress made by Armenia in recent years in the area of HIV prevention and treatment is evident:
  
- An important step towards scaling up the ART coverage in the country was introducing in 2017 the "treat all" strategy, according to which ARV therapy is offered to all patients with HIV regardless of immune and clinical status. Currently about 2100 HIV patients receive free ART at the National AIDS Center, which makes up 97.5% of the patients in HIV care. Overall, 84% of patients diagnosed with HIV receive ART (set target of 90% by 2020).
- An uninterrupted chain of the drugs order, procurement and supply has been introduced, making Armenia the only country in the region where no treatment interruptions have occurred.
- In 2018 WHO approved maintenance the criteria for validation of elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Armenia for 2016-2017.
- Number of HIV patients on ART having undetectable viral loads has increased (>85%), therefore, it is very important that medical care and management of HIV patients at NCAP are provided by the multidisciplinary team consisting of a physician (infectious disease and/or family doctor), a nurse, a psychologist, a social worker and other members involved in non-medical issues (lawyer, peer counsellor, etc.). The team members perform certain activities, complementing each other, supporting the patients to adhere to ART, which is essential for ensuring the treatment effectiveness.
  
- National AIDS Center is a specialized medical facility where people living with HIV, and those vulnerable to HIV, receive health services they need with no stigma or discrimination.
- Continuous operation of effective HIV response system (services on HIV testing, prevention, monitoring, treatment) created by many years of efforts made by the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Center and supporters, as well as consistent implementation of activities will allow achieving in Armenia the ambitious 90-90-90 targets specified by the National Programme on HIV/AIDS Prevention and by the undertaken international commitments.

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