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Russia set to launch innovative HIV/AIDS rehabilitation centers - health minister

June 10, 2016, 5:00 UTC+3 UN

The main difference of Russia’s approach compared is a particular methodology regarding the primary prevention as well as the prevention in certain high-risk groups

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© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

UN, June 10. /TASS/. Russia has worked out a special comprehensive program on the rehabilitation and resocialization to clamp down on the HIV/AIDS spread and it will be introduced in the nearest future, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova told TASS.

The main difference of Russia’s approach compared to similar programs in other countries "is a particular methodology regarding the primary prevention as well as the prevention in certain high-risk groups," Skvortsova said in an interview with TASS speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS.

"Russia’s particular approach is that over 57% of HIV transmission connected with the drugs abuse," she said. "This figure is very high. Our foreign partners, not all of them but many, resort to the so-called strategy of the harm reduction, when the injected drugs are substituted with narcotic pills. According to our partners, this method helps to reduce the transmission of infections, namely HIV and hepatitis, through blood infusions."

According to Skvortsova, Russia decided to go for a completely different approach.

"We propose the strategy of the demand reduction or voluntarily refusal from drugs," she said. "In order to make this strategy effective we have worked out jointly with the Federal Anti-Drug Service a comprehensive program of rehabilitation and resocialization."

"This program is expected to be launched in the nearest future," Skvortsova said. "In fact, we are setting up a chain of rehabilitation centers working in line with the unified requirments."

The rehabilitation centers, she said, will be set up in collaboration with non-profit organizations and representatives of various religious confessions. However, Skvortsova said, there will be a mandatory requirement demanding the presence of a doctor, particularly if a drug-addict is infected with some sort of a disease. Moreover, a psychologist and an outreach activist must be also in attendance.

"In fact, we are offering patients to start life all over again," she said. "This is one of the differences of the Russian approach compared to methods used on other countries.".

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