6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Where are we?

Religious communities in Azerbaijan discuss HIV

Azerbaijan has been recognised as having a concentrated HIV epidemic since 2003. HIV rate is steadily increasing since 2004. The epidemic appears profoundly gendered with over four times as many males infected as females. It remains driven by injecting drug use: almost two-thirds of HIV-positive Azerbaijani citizens acquired the virus through this route.  At the same time, the increase in heterosexual transmission was more than fourfold between 2004 and 2010, and there is a growing evidence of the feminisation of the epidemic due to female sexual partners of male infecting drug users becoming diagnosed with HIV. 

Whilst considerable progress has been made to contain the HIV epidemic in Azerbaijan, coverage of most-at-risk populations with HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services remains low and calls for intensified efforts Stigma and discriminatory attitudes are prevailing and result to late health seeking behaviour (particularly in terms of seeking HIV counselling and testing), with later HIV diagnosis and early death following diagnosis.

HIV prevention still is not integrated into state health care system and remains centralized in a specialized AIDS Center in the capital, meaning that health care professionals are often unfamiliar with effective, scientific methods of HIV prevention and treatment of HIV.

Currently, Country Coordination Mechanism is emerging as a single national coordination body for the HIV/AIDS response, however further capacity strengthening for enhanced coordination is still required.

As regards spread of malaria, a disease endemic to Azerbaijan, as a result of large-scale epidemic control interventions over the course of 1997–2011, the epidemiological situation has improved, and in 2011 only 8 cases of malaria, including 4 imported cases, were reported in the country.

Dynamics of HIV rates

Bar Chart
Targets for MDG6
  1. Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    • HIV prevalence among population aged 15-24 years
    • Condom use at last high-risk sex
    • Proportion of population aged 15-24 years with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS
    • Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14 years
  2. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
    • Proportion of population with advanced HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs