There are 238,405 people in Russia officially registered as infected with HIV. According to Rosbalt's correspondent, this was announced on Wednesday, May 21 at a press conference entitled 'The true situation regarding HIV infection in Russia' by Vadim Pokrovsky, the head of the Russian Federal Centre for Preventing and Fighting Aids. Pokrovsky said that the majority of infected people do not know that they are ill. Experts believe that the true number of HIV-infected people in Russia may be as high as 1.5 million. Pokrovsky suggested that these people would only be officially registered once they develop Aids.
According to Pokrovsky, 90% of those infected in Russia are under 30. The number of people infected is rising fast. In 2001, there were 120 infected people per 100,000. In 2002, this figure had risen to 160 per 100,000. The highest numbers of HIV-infected people are found in Tolyatti, Irkutsk, and Orenburg, where around 1% of the population is infected.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia