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1st Russian AIDS Conference; Biggest HIV Epidemic in Europe
 
 
  350,000 Russians HIV+, says chief doctor
 
15/ 05, 2006
http://en.rian.ru/russia
 
MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's chief doctor Gennady Onishchenko said Monday that over 350,000 people in Russia were infected with HIV.
 
"The dynamics of the spread of HIV start with the first registered case in Russia in 1987," he told a European and Central Asian AIDS conference in Moscow. "Today more than 351,000 people are infected with HIV in Russia."
 
Onishchenko said the number of infected Russian per 100,000 now stood at 200 people, echoing comments made in late April by Vadim Pokrovsky, the head of Russia's federal AIDS research center, who said the figure had reached 225.1 as compared with 200.7 in 2004.
 
Onishchenko added that women were increasingly falling victim to the disease, which could have serious implications for the country's drastic demographic situation, and that heterosexual contact was now the main source of infection in most regions. Earlier health authorities had suggested the problem was largely confined to drug users sharing dirty needles.
 
"The share of women of child-bearing age [between 15 and 44] stands at 30-50% out of all HIV infected people in Russia," he said, adding that 15,000 children born from HIV infected women had been registered and 11,000 of them were under medical observation.
 
Onishchenko also said that in 2006 about 3 billion rubles ($111 million) had been allocated from the state budget to combat the disease and there were plans to spend 7.7 billion rubles ($285 million) in 2006-2007.
 

AIDS conference held in Moscow, U.N. official calls it "long overdue"
 
May 15, 2006
http://www.chinapost.com
 
Hundreds of activists, government officials and health workers gathered Monday for a major AIDS conference in Russia, which faces an exploding epidemic of HIV/AIDS.
 
Top international AIDS officials hailed growing funding and attention by Russia to the problem, but said the government was giving contradictory signals on its plans for fighting the disease.
 
UNAIDS chief Peter Piot said the conference was "long overdue."
 
Alexei Bobrik of the Open Health Institute said the government was sending conflicting messages, particularly regarding the role of non-governmental organizations in combatting AIDS.
 
Officially, Russia has roughly 350,000 people registered with HIV, but most experts believe the true number exceeds 1 million.
 

Moscow hosts key Aids conference
 
By James Rodgers
BBC News, Moscow
 
Aids awareness campaigns have been hotly debated The first European and Central Asian Aids conference is underway in Moscow.
 
It has been called to formulate a response to one of the fastest growing rates of HIV infection in the world.
 
Across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the number of people living with HIV had reached an estimated 1.6 million by the end of last year, the UN says.
 
The figure had increased tenfold in less than a decade, and 75% of those infected were under 30. Ukraine and Russia have most of the region's cases.
 
The United Nations says that the situation in both countries represents major challenges for prevention, treatment and care.
 
Fear and mistrust
 
Russia's HIV epidemic is the biggest in Europe.
 
In the 1980s, when HIV was first detected in what was then the Soviet Union, officials portrayed it as something which mainly affected foreigners.
 
That fear and mistrust of outside influence has persisted.
 
Russian politicians have condemned some current anti-HIV campaigns carried out by non-government organisations, accusing them of encouraging prostitution and drug use.
 
Meanwhile, rates of infection continue to rise.
 
 
 
 
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