Washington Post Examines HIV/AIDS ‘Explosion’ in Russia, Lack of Action To Address Issue
The Washington Post on Sunday examined the "explosion" of HIV/AIDS cases in Russia that began in the spring of 1999 with the arrival of liquid heroin from Afghanistan. Since then, the Russian government "has done little" to address the epidemic, according to the Post. Russia before 1999 had only a few thousand registered HIV-positive residents, but today the nation has more than 280,000 registered cases. U.N. and Russian officials estimate that about one million HIV-positive people live in Russia. Despite the recent increase in the number of new HIV/AIDS cases, the Russian government spends less than $1 million per year on HIV prevention, and President Vladimir Putin has "mentioned AIDS only once in a major speech to the Russian people and then only in a fragment of one sentence," the Post reports. Alexander Goliusov, head of the AIDS division of the Russian Health Ministry, said that the nation has decided to seek $213 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to help address the epidemic. In addition, he said that federal and regional governments in Russia spend about $45 million per year on HIV/AIDS treatment, but he acknowledged that the nation faces a "huge problem" that requires additional spending (Baker, Washington Post, 6/13). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.