AIDS Victims May Apply for Treatment Tests

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Individuals suffering from AIDS or HIV–the virus that causes AIDS–who are willing to participate in clinical tests on the Armenicum drug may contact the Republic’s Center for AIDS Control and Prevention–announced Armenia’s Health Minister during a press conference Tuesday.

Haik Nikoghossian also said that AIDS or HIV-positive patients without Armenian citizenship who would like to participate in tests may apply to their respective national AIDS centers–which will forward applications to Armenia’s foreign ministry–via Armenian diplomatic missions based abroad.

Nikoghossian also announced that the company which developed the so-called cure would be directly involved in discussions of clinical tests on Armenicum along with the Republic’s Center for AIDS Control and Prevention.

The Ministry’s public relations officer Ruslana Gevorgian said the ministry would only be in charge of the medical aspect of the tests and would intermittently report findings or breakthroughs.

Other inquiries–Gevorgian said–would have to be directed to the proper authorities.

In an interview with the Noyan Tapan news agency the chief physician of the Zaporozhye Municipal AIDS Center in Ukraine–Ilya Skornyakov–expressed his willingness to assist in the clinical testing program on the Armenicum drug.

He said any experiment to fight AIDS must be welcomed.

"HIV is reaching catastrophic proportions in Ukraine," commented Skornyakov–adding that official statistics indicate that there are about 45,000 HIV-infected and AIDS-stricken people in Ukraine–while the actual figure is more than one million. Most HIV-carriers and AIDS patients are drug addicts.

Skornyakov said there are 24 AIDS centers in Ukraine which were set up to relieve ordinary hospitals and clinics. The center applies widely practiced drugs such as retrovir and azototimidin in treating its patients.

Patients were asked whether they would volunteer to undergo clinical tests related to Armenicum. All of the eighteen patients receiving treatment at the Center answered in the negative–explaining that they were unaware of the consequences of such treatment.

"I think a man’suffering from AIDS can live 10 to 15 years if he leads a normal life–of course–while nothing is known about the possible consequences of the treatment offered by Armenian doctors," said a 26-year-old patient in response to Noyan Tapan’s question.

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