Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

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

HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia ‘out of control,’ health minister says
Edited by: A. N.

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.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts