Sick soldiers

Published: Tuesday 15 September 1998

THE cases of mv infection in Russian soldiers have quadrupled in the past one year. Half of these soldiers are in Moscow's military district itself, say army officials. They blame the rise of drug abuse among the country's abused and hungry soldiers.

Mikhail Kislitsyn, Moscow military district prosecutor, says that since the beginning of 1997, 128 cases of hiv were reported in the district compared with just 32 from 1993 to 1996. Of the 160 persons, officially diagnosed as HIV positive, 18 per cent are officers or non-commissioned officers - and 12 per cent of those are thought to have contracted the virus while serving in the army, he says.

"This means that drugs are being supplied to within the army, which soldiers inject using infected needles. There had been a noticeable decline in the general health in the army in past five years," Kislitsyn explains.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

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.