AS IF a deep economic crisis was not
enough, Russians have to now contend
with the snowballing effect of the AIDS
epidemic. Earlier, as part of the Soviet
Union, the people led a comparatively
sequestered life with low levels of drug
abuse and conventional behaviour.
With the opening up of Russia, the
number of newly registered HIV carriers
has zoomed up.
"An AIDS epidemic has begun in our country," said Vladimir Pokrovsky, head of Russias AIDS-control centre. His gloomy prediction was that the number Of HIV carriers was going to quintuple every year till the end of the jentury. The root cause of the sudden increase in AIDS cases is being attributed to the fast spread of drug abuse. Drug users now account for nearly seven million of the population.
Cash-strapped as the government is, the AIDS control programme has run into difficulties. For instance, a programme to encourage the use of contraceptives was put on hold and may start only next year. Remarked Pokrovsky, "As of today we have not received a single rouble from the budget this year."
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.