HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia ‘out of control,’ health minister says

Taking blood test in in a Russian clinic

 

Analysis & Opinion, Russia

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Russian Federation is growing “out of control,” according to Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, as a result of which the number of HIV/AIDS cases in that country, already growing at about 10,000 new cases annually, is likely to increase by 250 percent over the next five years.

In part, this reflects cuts in government support for health care more generally; and in part, it is the product of the unavailability of many anti-retroviral drugs which are made only abroad and which are not being imported at present because of Moscow’s counter-sanctions and because of high costs.

At present, Skortsova says, Russian doctors are able to treat only about one in five of the approximately one million now infected; and even when Russia begins to produce substitutes for now-unavailable foreign drugs, they will be able to treat only about one in five more. Consequently, the epidemic will expand.

In an article in “Novyye izvestiya” entitled “A Deficit of Understanding,” journalist Anastasiya Ivanova describes some of the other factors that are promoting this epidemic, including not least of all the attitudes of many officials, businessmen, and even doctors.

“Although the virus has already spread not only among marginal groups of the population, its bearers as before continue to encounter negative stereotypes” in Russia, she writes. “Over the last month alone,” the Duma has considered refusing to register HIV-infected people for marriage and requiring fingerprinting of all those with HIV or AIDS.

Last Friday, the deputies took up a government proposal which would allow foreigners infected with HIV to live in Russia if they have close relatives with residence permits. That would bring the country’s laws into correspondence with a recent Supreme Court decision, Ivanova points out.

But there are problems beyond officialdom. Many businesses fire people as soon as they learn or even suspect they are infected with HIV; many doctors refuse to treat people for any illness if they learn that these people have the infection; and many governments are refusing to treat HIV-infected people unless they are legal residents of the district.

That excludes most migrants and many others and means that in the absence of such treatment, these people are more likely to spread the disease thus reinforcing other prejudices about them.

Russia’s unfortunate and counterproductive approach is especially obvious if one compares it with what Ukraine is doing. Despite the war, Ukraine has “achieved significant success in the struggle against the spread of HIV over the last five years,” “Novyye izvestiya” reports, noting that Kyiv has reduced mother to baby infections by a factor of seven and increasing the share of those infected receiving treatment by 20 times.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Yet another example of how the demented dwarf’s lunacy is slowly but surely destroying the country.

  • Being

    Ahh, but Mr. Putin spends money on making a lot of bombs, instead to use the money for making condoms and some nice propaganda how to use them.
    So death like death so BOMB Russia than, no HIV no AIDS.
    Why some medicine when bombs can solve it as well.

    Ah and see, so therefore Russia bomb hospitals, to eradicate HIV.
    That is cool.

  • Being

    + you know in MH17 there were a lot of HIV/AIDS scientists, doctors, Ph D, also the very top of them. What a coincidence. Russia wake up. That is a lof of cases of HIV in your population.

  • Brent

    The reason AIDS is rampant in Russia is there are too many a$$holes infected with Putin’s propaganda….

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The demented dwarf is doing everything he can to destroy the country and then some. He’s spending huge amounts of money on the Dwarfstan armed forces; Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin warned him in 2012 that the country couldn’t afford such expenditures, and was sacked for his impertinence. Note that the oil price was over $100 then; it’s dropped to below $50 now, yet the dwarf continues to increase the budgets for defence and security services, and slashes everything else, including such “trivial” matters as infrastructure, proper education and health care. Well, trivial in HIS opinion, that is, if not in the opinion of Dwarfstan’s citizens- but they don’t have a say in this.
      He starts a pointless war against what was until then a friendly neighbour, illegally annexing part of that country’s territory, sends his terrorists and soldiers into another part of that country and lays it to waste, with resulting casualties on his side, wasting money he doesn’t have. Not only that, he compounds the error by sending his troops into Syria to prop up a tottering ally, which will lead to more costs and more casualties, further weakening the country.
      Next, he REDUCES the price of vodka, even though alcoholism is a prime cause of early deaths.
      To crown all these “achievements”, he decides to ban foreign-made drugs as revenge for Western sanctions against his crooked chums and equally crooked state-owned companies. This means that Dwarstan’s citizens no longer have access to drugs that actually work, including treatment for cancer and AIDS. This will in turn mean lower life expectancy, more premature deaths- which is perhaps just as well since the Reserve Funds, meant for providing pensions but being raided by the dwarf to plug the holes in the state budget, will be empty by the end of next year according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Then what?

      One would ALMOST come to the conclusion that the dwarf is, in reality, a CIA agent, planted on Yeltsin by a wily Bill Clinton.

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