ARS to Implement HIV AIDS Education Program in Armenia

WATERTOWN–The Central Executive Board of the Armenian Relief Society Inc. (ARS) announced on Tuesday that it would undertake the implementation of an AIDS awareness program at the ARS Mother & Child Clinic in Akhourian–Armenia.

The program–"HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Project" which will be funded by a grant from the World AIDS Foundation–is a collaborative effort between the ARS and University of Massachusetts (U MASS)–Worcester.

The project seeks to develop a decentralized model of HIV/AIDS education and prevention that can be replicated throughout Armenia and possibly in other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries–and to establish a climate that will support HIV health care delivery in the near future. The project is scheduled to begin in September 2003.

Project team members include the program’s Principal Investigator Dr. Carol Bova–Assistant Professor of Nursing and Medicine at the U MASS Medical School; Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Sevak Avagyan–Director of the ARS Mother-Child Clinic; Project Coordinator Carol Jaffarian–Nurse Manager/Nurse Practitioner of the HIV Clinic at U Mass Memorial Healthcare–and ARS member; and In-Country Coordinator Dr. Mkhitar Mkhitaryan–Executive Director of the ARS Mother & Child Clinic.

Founded in 1910–the ARS is an independent–nongovernmental and nonsectarian philanthropic organization with affiliate entities in 23 countries serving the social and educational needs of communities everywhere–in seeking to preserve the cultural identity of the Armenian nation. ARS provides humanitarian help to all communities in distress–Armenian and non-Armenian alike. The ARS promotes spiritual and physical well being–enhancement of education and involvement in public services by encouraging members to participate in community activities and social services compatible with the principles of the Society–as well as cooperation with organizations that hold similar humanitarian aims.

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