Mission East chosen to be a leader in the fight against AIDS in Armenia

From among 21 potential organisations, Mission East has been chosen to lead NGOs in Armenia in their fight against AIDS.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which accounts for one quarter of the world's resources to fight AIDS, has partnered with Mission East in the effort to halt the spread of this epidemic in Armenia. Up until 2015, Mission East will be responsible for distributing funds for HIV/AIDS programmes in Armenia, and monitoring the work of local NGOs running these programmes. Mission East is taking this role over from World Vision, the world's largest international NGOs.

In many of the world's poorest countries development has been paralysed by HIV/AIDS. The same situation could happen in Armenia. Currently, approximately 3,000 people are estimated to be HIV-infected in Armenia, but this figure could rise rapidly if large-scale efforts for prevention are not prioritized.

Armenia is particularly vulnerable to the spread of HIV/AIDS because the country has a high level of interaction with Russia where the AIDS epidemic is out of control. Nearly one million people in Russia are infected with HIV. 100,000 Armenians, mainly men, work in Russia, and many carry the disease back with them when they return home to Armenia for visits. Because of the stigma associated with being HIV positive, often their status remains a secret, and these men share the virus with their family. In many cases, their children end up as orphans as a result of their parent’s illness.

Mission East’s new role is integral to the effort to halt this epidemic in Armenia, and prevent it from ever becoming out of control.

November 2009