USA estimates when would AIDS kill Russia

FBI highlighted 5 countries where the majority of the population risking to be infected with HIV: Russia, India, China, Nigeria and Ethiopia .

Still many people think that AIDS aims only drug abusers, homosexuals and other individuals within a “risk group”, while “normal” have no reason to be frightened. The UN claimed 2003 was the peak of the last twenty years in terms of AIDS infected and dead. Three millions were killed by the disease and five millions caught the infection this year, what is 10% above the last one. The UN, moreover, thinks that the epidemic is out of control…

Peter Piot, the UN director for Anti-AIDS program, thinks that measures taken against the disease are not satisfactory. Today more than 40 millions are sick with AIDS and infected by HIV. In Africa alone there is 2,3mln ill people.

In regards to Africa, Piot does not belive it is in charge of the growth in the number of infected, and says that AIDS is not an African problem only.

In some regions the number of infected remains at the same level (Uganda is very successful in this respect), however, the overall picture remains tragic. The sad fact is that the epidemic in Africa does not take more dramatic turn only because the ill die very fast, and their place is taken by new victims. This is how overall numbers spin around the same point. In some countries of the continent, around 30% of population is infected.

FBI highlighted 5 countries where the majority of the population risking to be infected with HIV. Russia is in the five, together with India, China, Nigeria and Ethiopia. China holds the lead with 1,5mln infected. There was a 30% growth since 2000, and experts say it is only the very beginning for China.

According to estimates, by the year 2010 number of infected in these countries will grow from the current 14-23mln to 50-75mln. Africa is nothing in comparison, with its estimated 30-35mln.

All the five countries influence not only their regions, but the entire world. Their leaders have not yet publicly confirmed the problem of AIDS/HIV, do not give it enough attention – in contrast to the states where this was proclaimed a priority task what lead to successful fight. International experience proves that only those countries manage to control the epidemic, whose leaders actively support the measures of changing the “risk” behavior of population (such as attracting attention to the problem o AIDS/HIV, anti-stigma and anti-discrimination education, support in healing).

Situation with AIDS in Russia is called epidemic. Statistics say this: around 260,000 infected, of whom 8,000 children. The last year has seen a 1.7 times less infected than in 2001, this year continues in the same fashion: 36% less infected in the first 6 months of the year than during the same period in 2002. Overall there was 19,978 cases in 10 months. At the same time, 70% of all infected babies were born in a period of 2002-2003.

Putin and Bush discussed the Russian AIDS problems in Washington this fall, for the first time in history. The Americans made it clear that Putin has to take aggressive action against the predicted socio-economical catastrophe.

All analytics say that the epidemic development in Russia is in fact the same as in other former USSR republics. Ukraine and Belarus were the first, then Russia joined and then Middle Asian countries.

Monica Luder, a press-secretary of AntiAIDS Union assures there a shortage of finances. About USD10bln is needed annually for prophylactics and therapy, while only about 4.7bln is actually provided worldwide.

Western Europe is safe overall. In Germany, for example, number of infected did not increase in 2003, while rose 2,000 in 2002. The overall number is around 40,000 (30,000 males and 9,000 females), while the exact number of kids infected is 400. Of all HIV infected about 5,000 are ill with AIDS. This situation is similar for other developed countries. Only Spain is an exemption: numbers grow every year.
African children are less lucky. UNISEF data shows about 11mln kds lost their parents because of AIDS, and by 2010 the orphans number will reach 20mln. Statistics show that soon every fifth kid will lose one or both parents. Only six of forty states where the problem is critical have a special program for support of the population.

One of the main problems remains therapy, especially in undeveloped countries. “Doctors Without Borders” call for the pharmaceutical corporations to open patents for certain medicines, what would let the poor countries produce or buy the cure. If the anti-AIDS therapy scheme will not be changed, millions of people are doomed.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov