Russia Reports Rise in HIV Cases
September 11, 2003
The number of Russians registered as HIV-positive has reached 250,000, and efforts to stem the disease's rapid spread have failed, officials said Wednesday. The proportion of HIV patients who contracted the virus through sexual contact doubled from 6 percent in 2001 to 12 percent last year, according to Russia's chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko. There has also been a dramatic jump in the number of infected mothers bearing children: 2,700 children were born to infected mothers in 2002, compared to 1,500 for the first eight months of 2003. Rates of mother-to-child transmission are not known. HIV/AIDS struck Russia relatively late but spread rapidly due to rising intravenous drug use and a lack of prevention programs. Health experts estimate the actual number of HIV-positive people in Russia may be 1.5 million.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.