The number of reported HIV carriers in Armenia has nearly doubled – to 443 – in the last five years, and there are believed to be thousands of additional unreported cases. But as the country moves from the initial to a second-stage level epidemic, a key vulnerable group to the disease is being ignored: teenagers.
According to an Association for Family Health Survey, nearly 25 percent of unmarried girls have their first sexual intercourse at 14 to 19, while 40 percent of boys start their sexual life between 13 and 17. Compared to the age group a decade older, today’s youth have their first sexual intercourse four years earlier.
Two weeks ago, Gagik Tsarukyan's "Prosperous Armenia" party announced on television its plan to start distributing autumn sowing wheat seeds and potatoes to villages. The party says its efforts are humanitarian, aimed at relief from drought.
Welcome to the unofficial start of the 2007 election campaign - called benevolence by some, but viewed as bribes for votes by others.
Last week Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan temporarily put an end to the discussions of a new Republic of Armenia Anthem, announcing that “Our Fatherland”, the current hymn, will remain for another year while the controversy is sorted.
Prior to the government decision, on October 21st, the Commission presided by the Minister of Culture and Youth Issues Hasmik Poghosyan, proclaimed Aram Khachaturian’s “Soviet Armenia” winning the competition, even though the song has no lyrics.
Under the slogan “Armenie, mon amie” the friendship between France and Armenia will be sealed in gala celebrations and ceremonies this weekend when “The Year of Armenia in France” is launched.
France’s President Jacques Chirac – making his first visit to the South Caucasus -- will lead a delegation of celebrities and officials. Beloved singer Charles Aznanour and his friends from the music world will offer an open air concert.
On the day, January 31, 2001 when the President of France ratified a law acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, villager Vardan Ohanyan was so excited he named his newborn twin sons after the French statesman.
Today, Jacques and Chirac Ohanyan may be too small yet to fully appreciate the etymology of their names, but the visit to Armenia by their namesake has raised nation-wide excitement.