Number of drug addicts in Russia increased 20-fold in 20 years

This was what the director of the UNAIDS regional support group for Europe and Central Asia, Denis Brun, stated at the second national conference on problems around HIV/AIDS as reflected in the media, quoting the Russian Federal Narcotics Control Service (FNCS).

The conference took the form of an open discussion between leading figures in Russian journalism dealing with the young, representatives of civil society and the health institutions. It took place at Journalists’ House on the eve of the International Day for Combating Abuse of Narcotics and their Illegal Circulation. The Union of Journalists organised the conference with the support of UNAIDS. Editors in chief of regional and federal publications for young people and of media companies from eleven regions of Russia as well as NGO representatives discussed the role of the media.

According to Mr. Brun the FCNS reckons that there are about 2.5 million addicts in Russia. In his address, the president of the union of journalists requested colleagues not to be indifferent to the problems of HIV/AIDS, citing the main calling of journalists as being to help both individuals and society as a whole. During the conference, it was announced that there was to be a national competition for the best article highlighting the theme of HIV/AIDS in the media (

At the end of the conference, delegates adopted a memorandum affirming their adherence to the basic principles of independent, high quality, responsible and socially oriented journalism based on respect for the facts and for personal dignity.

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