Russia Recorded More Than 50,000 New HIV Cases in 2008, Health Official Says
A total of 50,670 new HIV cases were reported in Russia in 2008, bringing the total number of registered HIV cases since 1987 to 467,016, Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko announced Tuesday, RIA Novosti reports (RIA Novosti, 2/17). Of the new cases in 2008, 6,000 people already had progressed to AIDS, according to Onishchenko. He added that Russia's HIV incidence is 306 cases per 1,000 people (CIS General Newswire, 2/17). According to ITAR-TASS, Onishchenko said that the number of HIV cases was particularly high in some areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. The main route of transmission continues to be injection drug use, which accounted for 65% of all HIV cases, he said. Onishchenko added that more than 23 million people received HIV tests last year. In addition, an increasing number of people are accessing antiretroviral treatment, including pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, according to Onishchenko (ITAR-TASS, 2/17).
According to Onishchenko, the government plans to implement a national project to add an additional 50,000 people to its antiretroviral treatment program. He added that funding pledges for HIV/AIDS treatment programs have been "confirmed" and that no funding will be cut because of the current economic situation (CIS General Newswire, 2/17).