Russian Government Approves New Plan to Fight HIV
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved a new plan to fight the spread of HIV in Russia, according to an announcement on the Russian government's official website.
The document lays out the government's methodology for fighting HIV through 2020 and beyond, and is based on the framework of the WHO's global strategy against HIV and AIDS as well as President Putin's June 1, 2012 decree.
The aim of the program will be "to reduce new HIV infection, increase the coverage of medical examination for HIV and anti-retroviral therapy, and reduce the frequency of complications and death" from HIV and other infections such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.
The results of the program will be measured in terms of public awareness about HIV (in the 18-49 age category), and in information on the implementation of inter-agency programs to prevent HIV-infection among intravenous drug users.
In 2015, the number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV was approximately 200,000 people, or 37.3 percent of HIV-positive people in Russia. The new plan aims to raise that number to 60 percent
The document also mentions the need to provide social support for HIV-positive people and in particular, HIV-positive children. In this vein, the plan aims to promote legislation that helps prevent infection and treats those who are already infected. This includes support for non-profit organizations which work with individuals who are at-risk of HIV infection.
In March, Vice Prime Minister Olga Golodets stated that there were over one million HIV-positive people in Russia.