Though Sex-Ed is required in the Armenian school system, it is not implemented into the curriculum appropriately.
Armenia has a very conservative approach to sex-ed. With a focus on preventative methods like abstinence, many young adults do not get the sexual education they are promised by the law.
Most young people will learn about the birds and bees through peers or family members. However, since the topic of sex is so taboo - it is unlikely that they will attain the knowledge necessary to make informed sexual decisions. This increases their risks of both catching and transmitting STIs unknowingly.
In the instance that a girl is sexually assaulted or raped, lack of education regarding her disposition will lead to greater trauma, confusion and increased health risks.
This article discusses the social stigma of sex in Armenian curriculum and what needs to change.
Gender based violence in Armenia causes greater risk factors for HIV, specifically amongst female sex workers.
This is yet example of how cultural taboos are physically damaging to Armenian women.
Read about the study here.
If a woman is not pregnant, she’s going to have to pay out of pocket for an STD test.
Free of charge blood tests and bacterioscopic analysis’ are conducted in maternity welfare clinics in order to manage pregnancy. Otherwise, only a couple NGOs provide free counseling, testing, and treatment.
Women’s clinics in Armenia focus on maternal care. Women who are not pregnant do not have free access to many services of these services. They are forced to rely on NGOs that cannot meet the demands of the public due to lack of funding.
Read more about the sexual health services available in Armenia here.
Plan-B is prescription only.
This make it more difficult for women who want to prevent pregnancy, by forcing them to consult their physician first.
Most physicians in Armenia are hesitant to prescribe the morning after pill due to social stigma. Women avoid seeking out their physician for the pill in order to avoid this stigma. Women who are raped are less likely to seek medical attention as a result of the cultural shame that clouds the situation.