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MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — HIV-infection becomes a national threat to Russia, where the number of those infected exceeds 700,000, the head of Russia’s federal AIDS centre, Vadim Pokrovsky, told a news conference at Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“Russia registers 200 new HIV cases per day, while the number of those infected reaches 703,781,” he said.
He highlighted that the number of HIV/AIDS related deaths increases every year.
“In 2011 18,500 people died of HIV/AIDS. Until the end of the year the number of deaths may grow to 19,000. Since 1985 125,000 HIV-infected people have died,” Pokrovsky said.
“The epidemic turns into a national threat not because it spreads among drug addicts, but also actively penetrates into general population. Over the past years more than 50 percent of HIV-cases have been related to sexual transmission among well-to-do citizens. At the same time the number of HIV-cases among pregnant women is on the rise,” he said.
Despite the effective situation “the country has no strategy and no governmental commission on HIV/AIDS. Our task is to reduce the number of new cases to zero, provide treatment to all those infected and eliminate discrimination of people living with HIV. We need a comprehensive approach at the state level to develop a single strategy to fight this threat,” Pokrovsky said.
He emphasized that promotion of a healthy life style among population and the reduction of infection among drug abusers, for instance the use of self-destructive syringes instead of disposable ones, can help to prevent new HIV cases.