MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. There are no unified criteria of an HIV epidemic, Russia’s Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Thursday.
"There are no unified criteria as to what to consider an HIV epidemic so the prevalence of HIV-infected people among pregnant women is believed to be the most important indicator. But it is not the only one… No HIV epidemic has been declared in our country," she said.
At the same time, the minister pointed out that Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and the Chief Sanitary Officer were eligible to declare an epidemic.
The number of HIV-infected people has been growing worldwide, including Russia. The virus has already spread beyond marginalized groups in society. Experts say that economically successful young men and women of active and reproductive ages have begun to get infected. According to official estimates, a total of 824,000 HIV-infected persons have been registered in Russia.