Russia: heterosexual contact main source of HIV

Heterosexual contact is the main way of HIV infection in Russia – research

In 2019, 1,068,839 people were registered as having HIV in Russia.


On 15 February, the Help is Needed foundation released its latest research into HIV in Russia on the platform “To be precise”. The data for 2019 can be found on their website.

The foundation has also published expert commentary and qualitative analysis, as well as numerical data. All statistics published on “To be precise” were gathered from the relevant government departments, CSOs and other sources.

“We gather and publish data on a regional level, which in turn allows us to look not only at the situation regarding HIV in the country as a whole, but also in specific regions. Often information of this kind is difficult to gather or is spread across several different government websites. We have assembled all the data on a single platform, investigated the dynamic behind each data set, and published figures which are not readily available in other open sources. The research shines a light on areas that particularly suffer from the disease, while also showing where the situation is improving”, commented Kseniya Babkhina, an analyst at the Help is Needed foundation.

The 2019 data shows that heterosexual contact is the main case of HIV infection amongst cases where the cause of infection is known. In 2014, heterosexual contact accounted for 45.4% of infections, while five years later, this figure has risen to 63.9%.

By the end of 2019 only 59.9% of people with HIV were listed on the dispensary register, around 74% of those registered received treatment, and the remainder still received medical attention.

The government launched an initiative seeking to ensure that 84.7% of all Russian citizens living with HIV were to be registered in 2019. 75.3% of these were to receive treatment and 90% of those were to have an undetectable viral load. In reality 60%, 74% and 77% achieved these aims respectively.

In 2019 the worst hit regions were Irkutsk, Leningrad, Kemerovo, Orenburg and the Republic of Crimea. This rating was calculated based on the number of new cases, mortality rate, the proportion of those registered that underwent therapy and had an undetectable viral load. The Irkutsk and Kmerovo regions were amongst the worst affected for the sixth year in a row. The most successful regions include the Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kirov, Lipetsk, Pskov Regions, the Republics of Ingushetia, Kalmykia, Tatarstan, Sakhalin Region, Tambov Region, Chuvash Republic, and Trans-Baikal Territory.

All the data can be found here.


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