Infected and outcast: Being HIV+ in Armenia

Imagine life for someone with HIV 25 years ago and you might have an idea of what it’s like for the nearly 4,000 people with HIV or AIDS in Armenia today. In a society where many still believe the virus can be casually transmitted, HIV+ people often keep their diagnosis a secret. Worse, health care professionals sometimes neglect to follow the latest treatment protocols or even refuse to treat an infected person for fear of contagion. With help from Press Start donors, Armen Melikbekyan and a team from epress.am magazine talked to HIV+ people and those who work with them to sketch a video portrait of HIV in Armenia today. In the coming months, Press Start will be checking to see if Armen’s work has local impact and, if so, reporting back to his donors.