March 26, 2013
At a scientific conference in Moscow, Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's top public health official, reported that new cases of HIV in Russia increased from 62,000 in 2011 to 69,000 in 2012 -- bringing the total number of people diagnosed with HIV to 720,000. Children under the age of 14 represented 6,300 of the HIV diagnoses. HIV infections have been rising since the fall of the Soviet Union. Although drug use continues to be the main transmission route, with contaminated needles accounting for 56 percent of all infections, the number of persons infected through heterosexual sexual contact increased to 40 percent in 2011, an increase of 4.5 percent over the previous three years. According to Health and Social Development Ministry data, Russia has earmarked 19 billion rubles ($600 million) for HIV prevention and treatment in 20122013.