With the support of the UNAIDS, the workshop titled "Expansion of Methadone Replacement Treatment in Armenia" was held
13 July 2022
The event was attended by government officials and civil society representatives.
On July 8, with the support of the UNAIDS, the "Real World, Real People" NGO (RWRP NGO) initiated a workshop entitled "Expansion of methadone replacement treatment in RA". The event was attended by government officials and civil society representatives.
The workshop started with the welcome speech of RWRP NGO president Zhenya Mayilyan, according to which back in 2019 the organization launched the HIV prevention program among PWID with the financial support of the Global Fund. In 2021, the UNAIDS created an additional opportunity to expand the coverage of methadone substitution treatment in addition to the already existing programs and presented additional mechanisms for providing services to the above-mentioned persons in epidemic and emergency situations.
Speaking about the goal of the project, Roza Babayan, UNAIDS Country Director, said that they highlighted the importance of strengthening the accessibility of quality services for all target populations.
"We must use all opportunities to make services more accessible to our beneficiaries in the future and have effective mechanisms to provide quality health services, especially in emergency situations caused by epidemics. I should also mention that the research carried out within the framework of this project made it possible to address a number of legal barriers and existing inequalities and problems, the existence of which still hinders making services even more accessible. Currently, we have an unprecedented opportunity to put an end to epidemics together by forming effective mechanisms, making the provision of quality health services available," assured R. Babayan.
Hasmik Harutyunyan, the coordinator of the programs of Global Fund in Armenia, welcomed the attendees and emphasized in his speech that the OST program is one of the most effective programs financed by the Fund. She emphasized that the RA Ministry of Health is currently working on the issue of including this program in the medium-term expenditure plans.
According to the data presented by the National Center for Addictions Treatment of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, during 2020-21, as a result of cooperation with the "Real World, Real People" NGO, the center conducted HIV testing and counseling among drug users. In 2020, their number was 151, and in 2021, 188."
It should also be noted that during the last 3 years, 15 thousand 101 people were tested for HIV among the programs implemented by the NGO, of which 85 were confirmed to be HIV positive, 66 were referred to the National Center for Infectious Diseases (updated data available are www.ncid.am).
The results of the project "To scale up OST and OST delivery mechanisms to recover the COVID-19 impacts " implemented with the support of the UNAIDS were also summarized. It was recorded that the program was successful, which is also confirmed by the results: out of 101 people attached to the support of the OST program, 92 are currently continuing treatment. During that period, 101 beneficiaries were provided with 301 social-psychological consultations.
The reports were followed by a question-and-answer session, during which the participants asked the specialists the questions they were interested in and came up with various recommendations for implementing reforms in the field.