YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On March 21–the government approved a national program for the struggle against the spread of AIDS. Armenian Health Minister Ararat Mkrtchian said that the adoption of the program is conditioned by the necessity of measures to curb AIDS spread in the country. According to official data–the number of HIV carriers in Armenia is up to 165 and the number AIDS-stricken people is more than 20. According to unofficial data–however–the number of infected and sick people almost 10 times exceeds the official data.
Mkrtchian stated that the program–to be realized from 2002 to 2006–includes several programs and subprograms. The minister accentuated the program that envisages awareness campaigns among AIDS spreaders–treatment of HIV carriers and AIDS-stricken people. The conducting of education in schools was also emphasized.
The realization of the measures envisaged in programs is up to the coordinating council–in which representatives of almost all ministries and departmen’s will be involved. The program will be financially supported by international organizations and the Armenian state budget.