The Russian Federation
The Russian Republic either doesn’t track or doesn’t publish reliable figures for HIV among its 144,300,000 inhabitants. Thus, all the figures here must be estimates, and those vary widely.
Russia has the largest HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, with ca. 1,500,000 people living with HIV (PLHIV)—the majority of all European HIV cases. It is the world’s only region where HIV infections are rising, up by 149% since 2006. It had 98,200 new cases in 2015, and largely accounts for the total increase of European cases. 37% of adult people living with HIV (PLHIV) are getting Antiretroviral therapy (ART).
People who inject drugs (PWID) account for 58% of HIV transmission. Other key populations include sex workers, prisoners and men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the rate from heterosexual sex is rising, so the epidemic may be shifting into a larger population. Women account for more than 38% of new cases, and rising.
HIV and men who have sex with men (MSM) are widely stigmatized in Russia, and punitive laws discourage people from seeking out necessary services.
(Estimates from AVERT, 2016)
Warriors focuses on activists in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It’s no common knowledge that in this part of the world the rate of HIV infection is growing fast. There are huge differences in the quality of prevention policies, care and treatment from one region to another, but problems are real and often hard to tackle. There’s little awareness of the tragedy that is taking place in some parts of this region.
But in all countries in this region you’ll find dedicated individuals and motivated organizations who fight for better access to medication, for better health care and for establishing a prevention policy. A few of these true heroes who fight for a better future for HIV and AIDS patients you’ll find on this page.
* To learn more about the background, the history and the current situation in Russia and other former Sovjet republics: please read the article with Ulla Pape on this site.
Maria Patients in Control, Sint-Petersburg
Gregory Patients in Control, Sint-Petersburg