250,000 HIV-Positive Russians Registered With Government
The number of Russians living with HIV who have registered with the government has increased to 250,000, according to government health officials, AP/Yahoo! News reports (AP/Yahoo! News, 9/10). Russia's First Deputy Health Minister Gennady Onishchenko said that most of the cases were among people between the ages of 17 and 27, adding that the country's military was unable to draft approximately 5,000 recruit-age young people because they tested HIV-positive. Onishchenko also said that the percentage of HIV cases attributable to sexual transmission increased to 12% this year from 6% last year (Xinhua News Agency, 9/10). However, needle sharing and injection drug use are still the most common methods of transmission in Russia, Onishchenko said, adding, "But since 2001, instances of AIDS contraction via sexual contact have been increasing" (Interfax News Service, 9/10). Experts estimate that the actual number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Russia is about 1.5 million (Associated Press, 9/10).
More information on HIV/AIDS in Russia is available online as part of kaisernetwork.org's Issue Spotlight on AIDS.