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MOSCOW, November 27 /TASS/. Russia has seen a dramatic rise in the number of HIV/AIDS cases over the past 25 years, a Russian epidemiological control official said on Thursday.
“The number of HIV/AIDS-infected people has increased from 30 in1988 when the first HIV/AIDS case was registered in Russia to more than 860,000 HIV-infected people in 2014,” Larisa Dementieva, the deputy head of epidemiological control department at Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said at a TASS hosted news conference on ways of fighting AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
She said that Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Armenia had also seen a sharp rise in HIV/AIDS cases.
According to Vinay Saldana, director of the UNAIDS joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, Russia shares one epidemiological space with these former Soviet republics as many labor migrants came to Russia from these countries.
In 2012, Russia and the four countries launched a joint anti-AIDS program, which aims are to reduce the number of AIDS/HIV cases and put an end to the discrimination of infected people by 2015. Over the past two years, the program has yielded some tangible results in Central Asian states, including Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyz Ambassador to Russia Bokot Dzhunusov said at the new conference that the first mobile laboratory which Russia handed over to Kyrgyzstan this summer had brought medical aid to thousands of people in 18 highland regions of the country raising their awareness about AIDS.
Dzhunusov received the second mobile laboratory from the Russian government after the press conference held ahead of World AIDS Day marked on December 1.
Dementieva said that medical assistance and humanitarian aid contributed to Russia's authority in the region better than any politics.
“It is a heartwarming sight to see people lining up to mobile clinics. That raises Russia’s prestige and makes its role in the region more significant and visible,” Dementieva said.