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)
Life behind the train station…
Tasha, a former art painter and performance-artist, is nowadays working as a nurse. Everyday she provides medical aid to a growing group of homeless men and women.
She meets her patients in an empty buss on a parking lot behind a train-station.
She treats all kind of physical and phychological problems. Quite a few of the men and women who visit her are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction.
According to Tasha, a growing number of her patients are infected with HIV.
Tasha accepts the fact she is HIV infected, but most of her patients don’t. They refuse to take an HIV test or ignore the positive results form the test.