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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 16
Latest statistics: HIV in Georgia

More than 150 people in Georgia have contracted HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) this year, say health officials.

An updated list of the number of people suffering from HIV in Georgia was released today by Georgia’s AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Centre.

Figures showed in 2015, 169 new cases of HIV were reported in the first three months of the year.

As of April 1, a total of 4,864 HIV cases were registered with the Georgian AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Centre.

Of these, 3,581 were male patients and 1,283 were female. The overwhelming majority of patients were aged between 29 and 40.

Furthermore, of the registered HIV cases, 2,935 had developed into AIDS and 999 cases resulted in death.

Georgian health officials noted 2,596 infected patients were currently receiving treatment for HIV. Of these, 316 patients lived in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region.

HIV is a virus that weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. The illness can develop into AIDS, which is the final stage of HIV infection however not everyone who has HIV will contract AIDS, according to US government health website:

HIV can be contracted through unprotected sex, through sharing of infected needles, through blood transfusion and organ donation, and more. There is a test that can confirm HIV diagnosis and medications are available to suppress the virus and delay the onset of AIDS.

The Georgian Government identified the fight against HIV/AIDS among the top national priorities in the early 1990s, making it one of the first Former Soviet Union (FSU) republics to develop a national HIV/AIDS programme in 1993. (

Georgia’s president pardons 78 prisoners for Easter

The Georgian president on Tuesday pardoned 78 prisoners in connection with Easter.

Zviad Koridze, Head of the President’s Pardon Commission, said at a press conference that 57 prisoners will be released from jail today. The remaining 21 had their sentence reduced.

The pardon commission considered 460 cases in total at two sessions on March 30 and 31.

It is one of two such bodies in Georgia, the other filing under the Ministry of Corrections.

As a tradition, the president pardons prisoners at special occasions, mostly religious celebrations like Christmas, Easter or the Assumption of Mary.

Among the pardoned prisoners is one prisoner who serves a sentence for premeditated murder. His sentence was reduced to half (DF watch)

IDPs can submit applications for mortgage loan assistance

IDPs will be able to submit applications for repaying mortgage loans from April 15.

The Ministry of IDPs has released a statement saying that the deadline for applications is May 1, 2015.

"In order to ensure long-term residential space, the state will grant one-time monetary aid to the internally displaced families who bought houses/apartments with mortgage loans before January 1 of 2015 or if the house/apartment represents the family’s only residential area.

The maximum amount of the offered financial assistance is 20,000 GEL per family.

The Ministry will select families according to social criteria as per decree No 320. (IPN)

State Minister for Reconciliation Congratulates Yezidi People on Charshama Sarsale Holiday

State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Paata Zakareishvili congratulates the Yezidi people living in Georgia on “Charsama Sarsale" holiday.

“I congratulate all Yezidi citizens on this important and oldest holiday - Charshama Sarsale… I wish this year to bring success and prosperity", - the state minister said.

Charshama Sarsale is the oldest and the most important holiday of the Yezidi community and it marks arrival of the New Year. (Frontnews)