A quarter of HIV-positive Russians are unaware of their status
According to statistics published jointly by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) and the Federal Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology, more than 86,500 cases of HIV were registered in Russia between January and December 2018. In 2017 the figure was over 88,600.
Figures also show that about 25% of those infected remain unaware that they are HIV positive, Rospotrebnadzor reports.
As the Rospotrebnadzor website indicates, UNAIDS – the agency that coordinates international action against AIDS – has gathered data showing that 36.9 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Only 75% are aware of their status. Over 35 million people are known to have died from HIV-related illness.
‘Early diagnosis is the first step towards successful treatment of HIV’, Rospotrebnadzor reminds us. ‘Early intervention with antiretroviral therapy can control the spread of the virus and help end the HIV pandemic.’
The third Sunday in May is designated as World Remembrance Day for AIDS victims. The day before the commemoration, Rospotrebnadzor will be holding a STOPHIV/AIDS event, organized in coordination with the Foundation for Social and Cultural Initiatives.
A hotline on HIV prevention will be active throughout Russia between 13 and 17 May. Epidemiologists from Rospotrebnadzor will be available around the clock to give advice in Russian and English on the United Counselling Center telephone line: 8-800-555-49-43. The number is toll-free and the Centre functions 24/7.
The Centre of Molecular Diagnostics (CMD) – the Rospotrebnadzor Epidemiological Research Centre – will also be joining the STOPHIV/AIDS campaign this year.
Between 18 and 20 May 2019, tests and confirmation of HIV status will be available free of charge. The event will take place in all CMD medical offices and in 80 institutions throughout Russia working in partnership with the CMD (promo code: #STOPVICHSPID).
Information about other, linked initiatives can be found on the following website: STOPVICHSPID.RF.