Russia has 'no anti-AIDS strategy', official says

May 16, 2013

There is no government strategy to fight the spread of AIDS in Russia, where the number of deaths caused by the disease continues to grow, a senior healthcare official said on Thursday.

"We have no national strategy to fight against AIDS," the director of the Russian Federal Agency against AIDS, Vadim Pokrovsky, told a news conference.

The rate of new HIV infections grew 12 percent in 2012—69,849 new cases against 62,384 new cases in 2011, according to the government figures.

The number of deaths caused by AIDS in Russia also continued to grow, with 20,511 deaths registered in 2012 against 18,414 deaths in 2011—an 11.4 percent increase.

"The state spends 19 billion rubles ($606 million, 470 million euros) a year for diagnosis and treatment of people who have contracted AIDS and only 200 million rubles for ," Pokrovsky said.

"We are fighting not against the epidemic itself, but against its consequences... In the absence of prevention (measures) we should expect an increase in the number of new cases," he added.

The high rates of AIDS-related mortality in Russia are caused by a widespread practice of a delayed anti-retroviral treatment as doctors often use expensive drugs sparingly, Pokrovsky said.

In total, some 720,000 people have contracted HIV in Russia since the first cases were recorded in the country in 1987, according to the latest official statistics. Nearly 130,000 patients have died so far.

But a 2011 report by the United Nations AIDS agency, UNAIDS, puts the real figure of HIV-infected people at about 1.2 million people—roughly one percent of the .

In Western and , the rate is five times lower—at about 0.2 percent.

Experts speak of "a generalisation of the " that affects not just high-risk groups—such as or prostitutes—but all of society, said Pokrovsky.

Explore further: One in 10 South Africans HIV positive

Related Stories

One in 10 South Africans HIV positive

May 14, 2013
One in ten South Africans is HIV positive but AIDS-related deaths are falling as ramped-up treatment begins to have an impact, the country's official statistics agency said Tuesday.

Malawi gets 1,000 new HIV infections a week

February 23, 2013
AIDS-ravaged Malawi, where over a tenth of the population is HIV positive, records on average 1,000 new cases weekly, a top government official said Saturday.

1,233 new cases of AIDS in Saudi Arabia last year

April 9, 2013
(AP)—The head of Saudi Arabia's AIDS charity foundation says the country saw 1,233 new cases of the disease last year.

Russian toddler contracts HIV from transfusion (Update)

April 15, 2013
Doctors in Russia accidentally infected a 16-month-old girl with HIV during a blood transfusion, investigators said Monday, opening a criminal probe into the case.

WHO says Cambodia can end HIV infections by 2020

May 10, 2013
Cambodia is on track to become one of the few countries in the world to successfully reverse its HIV epidemic and may eliminate new infections by 2020, the World Health Organization said Friday.

Facts about HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2011

July 18, 2012
Here are some key facts and figures on HIV/AIDS in 2011, released by UNAIDS on Wednesday ahead of the International AIDS Conference set to take place in Washington on July 22-27.

Recommended for you

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.