Half of Russian Population Could be HIV-Positive in 10 Years
By the end of this year a million people in Russia could have HIV, and by 2010, half of the nation's 145 million citizens could be infected, Agence France-Presse reports. Official statistics state that there are 80,000 cases of HIV in the country, but Vadim Pokrovsky, head of the government-run National Center for the Fight Against AIDS, said that "in fact, half a million Russians are infected." Pokrovsky said that although the Russian government had allocated $3 million in the 2001 budget to fight the epidemic, $70 million would be needed, and that a "promised" loan of $50 million from the World Bank was "generous but insufficient." He said, "These credits are spread out over a period of 10 years and we will need more resources between now and then," adding that the "new anti-AIDS program will only be put into effect in 2002. Until then we have to continue our work on the basis of a program set up in 1995." According to UNAIDS statistics, the number of new infections in Russia last year exceeded the total of all previous years (Agence France-Presse, 1/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.