Russia Should Seize Opportunity as G8 Host To Increase Efforts To Control HIV/AIDS, Opinion Piece Says
Countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are "collectively home to the fastest spreading HIV epidemic in the world," but Russia in particular "serves as a somber reminder of how quickly HIV can spread," as well as a "hopeful demonstration of the potential success of targeted funding, properly spent," according to a Lancet editorial. "Russia has attributes that put it in a good position to reverse the spread of HIV," namely a working infrastructure, plenty of highly trained medical workers, money from the oil industry and increased political will, the editorial says. As a result, international donors view conditions in Russia as "ideal for achieving quick results," according to the editorial. However, barriers in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Russia must be addressed, and they "can only be surmounted by fundamental changes to the health care system itself, and in particular strengthening primary care," the editorial says. If Russia is to "reap the full benefits" of hosting this year's summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, Russia's President Vladimir Putin "must ensure that the inevitable spotlight on Russian health care this summer is a catalyst for real change," the editorial concludes (Lancet, 5/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.