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1.5 million Russians estimated to be HIV-positive, expert says

December 28, 2016, 8:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to official estimates, a total of 824,000 HIV-infected persons have been registered in Russia
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© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. About 1.5 million Russians are estimated to be HIV-positive, the head of the Moscow-based federal AIDS centre, academician Vadim Pokrovsky, said.

"Some 240 people died of AIDS in Russia, about 1,5 million Russians are HIV-positive. AIDS remains the deadliest among all infectious diseases, and accounts for 45% of all deaths," the researcher told a meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

According to official estimates, a total of 824,000 HIV-infected persons have been registered in Russia.

Pokrovsky added that HIV infection in Russia is on the rise, while no studies to determine best ways for prevention of the disease being carried out. In total, the expert said, over 50 million people have died of AIDS worldwide, while 36 million are HIV-positive.

"The anti-HIV/AIDS strategy until 2020, adopted this fall, lacks a scientific aspect. It has no single research plan, studies are being under-financed," the expert said, adding that anti-HIV efforts require not only epidemiological studies, but also some research in psychology, sociology and history.

In late October 2016, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree to approve the state anti-HIV strategy until 2020 and beyond. The plan, adopted as part of the WHO global anti-AIDS effort, names HIV tests and better retroviral treatment among its main goals. It also envisages better prevention effort, social support and rehabilitiation for HIV-positive people and support of non-governmental organizations.

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