“Real World, Real People” NGO was founded in 2003 by a group of enthusiastic young people who strived to unite people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Armenia and provide care and support for them. The organization’s mission is to increase quality-of-life for people living with HIV and their families, to strengthen the idea of self- and mutual help within the community, to unite the community by providing direct psychological, social and legal services and also to advocate for universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care, support and testing. The main goal of “Real World Real People” NGO is to improve all elements of quality of life of PLHIV. The organization’s main direction of work has not changed for eight years, but its scope of issues and activities has widened: in addition to human rights protection of people leaving with HIV the component of human rights protection of volnurable groups toward HIV was added.

The organization’s aim:

  • to provide direct or personal services to PLHIV,
  • to develop self- and mutual-help movements in the frame of PLHIV,
  • to decrease social stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV,
  • to advocate for universal access to HIV treatment, care and support,
  • to prevent HIV spreading among the most vulnerable groups toward HIV.

In order to achieve the abovementioned goals, the organization is providing the following services:

  • “peer-to-peer” counseling,
  • social support,
  • psychological support,
  • spiritual support,
  • legal counseling,
  • advocacy in various institutions,
  • provision of humanitarian aid: clothes, food, school supplies,
  • activities aimed at increasing treatment adherence,
  • support group facilitation,
  • trainings and other educational events for people living with HIV and their family members, staff of the organization, and also for the wider public,
  • implementation of public events and work with mass-media and activity aimed at decreasing levels of stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV and representatives of communities most vulnerable to HIV,
  • development and dissemination of thematic magazines and other information materials.

During its activities, the organization has cooperated and continues to cooperate both with governmental organizations and local NGOs, as well as with many international organizations. The cooperation helps avoid duplication of events and also gives the opportunity to present themselves with the same messages in diverse advocacy campaigns. By virtue of the communication and cooperation, many public events, press conferences, advocacy campaigns, trainings, exchanges of experiences, events on gender, sexuality and reproductive health issues are jointly organized.

“Real World, Real People” NGO cooperates with “Public Information and Need of Knowledge”, “Positive People Armenian Network”  and “Women’s Resource Center” local NGOs. The local governmental and international partners of the organization are National Center for AIDS Prevention, National Narcological Clinic (Methadone substitution treatment program), Armenian Apostolic Church, Open Society Foundations, Mission East Armenia, World Vision Armenia, World Council of Churches Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation, United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

One of the representatives of the “Real World, Real People” NGO has been a member of the Country Coordination Commission on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria issues (CCM) in the Republic of Armenia since 2004. Another representative has been a member of a working group on Tuberculosis of the CCM since 2008.

The organization has became a member of Eastern Europe & Central Asia Union of PLHIV in 2007. The Union is one of the main organizations in the region and unites PLHIV communities from 15 countries. The main goal of the organization is to contribute to the involvement of PLHIV in society, increase access to treatment, to improve care and support services in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

As employees of the organization prove, the biggest success of the NGO in these years of functioning is that the organization has become such an environment, a family, where people come with joy, not only for getting help, but also to help each other mutually, what is important they realize that they need to be actively involved in the process of improvement of their lives.

“Real World, Real People” NGO calls everyone to be active citizens in our country, and to do for others all that which they would like others to do for them. This is the philosophy, upon which the basis of the organization’s activity lays. If you are interested in “Real World, Real People” NGO’s activities the organization is open for help and support.

Nvard Margaryan