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Number of HIV-infected Russians receiving free treatment quintuples in 10 years

November 28, 2016, 16:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The number of healthy children born from HIV-infected mothers has risen by 16% since 2015

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MOSCOW, November 28 /TASS/. The amount of HIV-infected Russians who receive free treatment and are under doctors’ care has surged fivefold in Russia over the past 10 years, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova stated at the opening ceremony of the Second All-Russian Forum for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV and AIDS on Monday.

"Over the past 10 years, the number of officially recorded patients who receive the anti-HIV virus treatment in Russia has increased fivefold from 7.5 % to 37% in 2015. This figure is expected to rise …to 41.5% this year, according to preliminary reports for 2016," Skvortsova stated.

The Russian health minister added that only four Russian regions could provide free therapy for 60% or more of their HIV-infected populations. They include the Pskov and Orenburg regions as well as the Republics of Kalmykia and North Ossetia. From 50% to 60% of officially recorded HIV/AIDS patients get free treatment in 17 Russian regions. In another 32 regions, 40%-50% of HIV/AIDS patients who undergo regular medical checkups are entitled to free care.

"The figures are much lower in the Tomsk and Amur regions (less than 20%). The respective figures for the Perm, Krasnoyarsk and Kamchatka territories; the Novgorod and Kemerovo regions and the Republic of Tyva are 20%-30%. These regions have the biggest number of people infected with a HIV virus," Skvortsova added.

She noted that the number of healthy children born from HIV-infected mothers has risen by 16% since 2015.

"According to preliminary reports for 2016, the number of healthy children born from HIV-infected mothers has risen by 16% since last year to exceed 98.2%. It means that a mere 1.8% of Russian babies are born with the HIV virus," Skvortsova explained. She believes it is a pretty good result for Russia.

Expenditures on a year-long HIV course of treatment in Russia halved in 2016 due to the partial transition to standardized HIV treatment procedures and partly centralized purchases of generics (analogues of well-known patented drugs) in compliance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representatives.

"In 2016, a transition to the latest treatment schemes as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), partial centralization of purchases and a broad application of generics have cut the cost of year-long treatment in half," Skvortsova said.

Prices for some drugs dropped even more. "Maximum to 5.9%," the Russian health minister said.

The amount of HIV-infected Russians who receive free treatment and are under doctors’ care has surged fivefold in Russia over the past 10 years, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova stated in her speech.

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