Russia home to more than 262 thousand HIV-infected people

On January 1, 2004 there were more than 262 thousand HIV-infected people registered in Russia. The State Health Service told Rosbalt that more than 75% of the new cases can be linked to drug use. In addition, the number of women infected increased by 35%. More than 6300 children of HIV-positive mothers have been born in Russia - 50% of which have been born in the last two years alone. At the present time, approximately 1.2 thousand patients are undergoing treatment, but it is estimated that approximately 3 thousand need to be treated. Moreover, the number of patients needing treatment is expected to increase to 50 thousand by 2005.

Yesterday Russia's Chief Physician Gennady Onishchenko signed a resolution on 'activating efforts to combat the spread of AIDS in Russia.' He instructed the country's doctors in the regions to take immediate prophylactic measures against AIDS.