HIV/AIDS Spreading Faster in Russia Than Previously Thought
Thursday, January 13, 2005 12:30 PM

The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Russia is much higher than previously believed, according to a new study funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), AP reported on 12 January. According to the report by U.S. demographers Murray Feshbach and Cristina Galvin, there are an estimated 1 million HIV-infected people in Russia, approximately three times the officially recognized figure. The study estimated that about 13,000 Russians have died of AIDS. Vadim Pokrovskii of the Federal AIDS Center told AP that "despite all that we have been saying and international organizations have been saying, funding for HIV/AIDS is not being increased, but is actually being reduced because of inflation." Pokrovskii told the agency that federal AIDS spending in 2005 is set to be $4.3 million, while his center estimates that $161.7 million is needed. He said that heterosexual intercourse is becoming an increasingly common method of HIV transmission in Russia. "In some regions, as many as half of new infections were the result of heterosexual intercourse," Pokrovskii told AP. RC

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