Armenian Doctors Optimistic On Battling AIDS

Armenian doctors are sure that the modern-day plague can be beaten as hundreds of patients suffering from AIDS have already undergone treatment at a Yerevan clinic and feel well, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“Three hundred patients from 17 countries have received treatment at the Armenicum clinic in Yerevan and none of them has had any complaints. All are alive,” David Aslanyan, the spokesman for the clinic told the agency.

The Armenicum project, named after the medication of the same name,  was launched by a team headed by Dr. Levon Gevorkyan, an honorary doctor of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.

Gevorkyan and his colleagues aimed to design a powerful stimulator to one’s immune system, as well as a drug capable of fighting viral and bacterial infections.

The key components of Armenicum are iodine, high and low molecular weight carbohydrates (polysaccharides), and lithium.

The inventors of Armenicum are still reluctant to disclose the secret behind the medicine, saying they fear their competitors may steal the technology before the drug is officially tested, certified and patented for marketing and sale throughout the world.

“The triumphant breakthrough of Armenicum is being stalled by the sharks of the international medication business who do not want to abandon enormous revenues - each year around $600 billion is spent on treating patients who suffer from AIDS,” added Aslanyan.

The spokesman said, however, that the clinic was in negotiations with representatives of several foreign countries interested in certifying Armenicum abroad.

A course of therapy comprises three weeklong stages, with the total price of full treatment slightly exceeding $1,000.  That figure is rather cheap if compared with prices for treatment of HIV-infected patients abroad, but the necessity to travel thousands of miles to the tiny Transcaucasian state in order to receive medication makes many patients think twice.

Armenicum has been officially registered with the Armenian Health Ministry and allowed for use in Armenian hospitals.

The medical center opened in December 1999 and three months later first patients checked in. Armenian doctors have been approached by their colleagues from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and some other ex-Soviet republics seeking to test the medication and perhaps register it with their respective health ministries for use on their territories.

While the Armenian inventors are dithering and contemplating their business moves, other researchers interpret their reluctance to certify the product as a sign of absence of the properties Armenicum is said to possess.

One of the most vocal critics, head of the Russian Center for Preventing and Fighting AIDS, Dr. Vadim Pokrovsky had earlier said in a newspaper interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda that the refusal to have Armenicum tested outside Armenia revealed the aim of its inventors to earn easy money by attracting desperate patients to Armenia.

Pokrovsky added that Russia had invented a rather effective drug to fight immunodeficiency syndrome. The drug called phosphaside was invented by a team of scientists working under Academician Alexander Krayevsky at the Institute for Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Medical Science.

Performance of phosphaside is said to outdo many Western analogs and is sold at an affordable price, far more cheaper than Western drugs.

February 16, 2001 - United Press International

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD