More Than 80% of HIV-Positive People in Russia Are Under Age 30, UNAIDS Official Says
More than 80% of HIV-positive people in Russia are under age 30, Bertil Lindblad, UNAIDS country representative, said at a news conference on Wednesday, the RIA Novosti reports. About 30% of HIV-positive people living in North America and Western Europe are younger than age 30, RIA Novosti reports (RIA Novosti, 3/29). According to the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare, the number of HIV cases in Russia has nearly doubled in the past five years, from 121 per 100,000 people in 2001 to 231 per 100,000 by the end of 2005 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/9). Lindblad said the number of HIV-positive women in the country also is rising, adding that the situation could have serious repercussions for Russia, which is experiencing high mortality rates and low birth rates. According to Lindblad, more than 1.4 million people in Russia -- or 1% of the population -- are HIV-positive. Official figures place the number of HIV-positive Russians at a little more than 340,000, RIA Novosti reports. Health officials in the country have launched public awareness campaigns, such as posters in subways, as part of an effort to inform young people about HIV/AIDS and encourage condom use. According to a recent survey commissioned by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS and conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation, 84% of Russians reported that HIV/AIDS is an increasing problem, and 70% said they support efforts to strengthen awareness of the epidemic in the country (RIA Novosti, 3/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.