Risk group: in nine regions of Russia, the number infected with HIV exceeds 1%

In the lab, examine the blood for HIV

Informal epidemic

In Yekaterinburg, declared HIV Tuesday, 1 November. This statement was made by first Deputy head of the health Department of the city administration Tatiana Savinova. According to the Department, in Yekaterinburg was registered on 26 693 cases of HIV infection is 1.8% of all residents of the city. Savinova believed that the real incidence is even higher. “HIV infected every 50th resident of Yekaterinburg”, — said Savinov.

Wednesday, November 2, Tatiana Savinova said that we are not talking about the official announcement of the HIV epidemic in Ekaterinburg, reports TASS. Determination of the HIV epidemic, according to who, not related to the total percentage of infected residents.

Problem areas

The national average at the end of 2015 immunodeficiency virus infected 0,6% of the population, estimated RBC, based on data from Rosstat and the Federal scientific and methodological center for prevention and fight against AIDS of Rospotrebnadzor (Federal AIDS center). In 26 regions of HIV infected with more than 0.5% of the population (living in these districts is 41.5% of the population).

Particularly at risk are the nine regions of Russia, where HIV-infected with at least 1% of the population.

Among problem regions leading Irkutsk and Samara region with 1.7 and 1.6% of HIV infected respectively. Next are: Sverdlovsk oblast (1,6%), Kemerovo region (1,5%), Orenburg oblast (1.2 percent), Leningrad oblast (1,2%), Chelyabinsk oblast (1%), Saint Petersburg (1%), Tyumen oblast (1%; including Autonomous prefectures).

“The number of HIV-infected in the Urals — this is not something out of the ordinary,” confirms the Director of the Federal AIDS center, Vadim Pokrovsky, who first reported on the epidemic of HIV in Russia in may 2015. According to him, in 1990-ies in “relatively prosperous” city in a large number of delivered injection drugs that led to the outbreak of HIV infection among drug users. Later the infection spread to the rest of the population, says the expert. Such cities expert considers Irkutsk, Samara, Tolyatti (in this city, according to Pokrovsky, the infected 3% of the population), Chelyabinsk and Saint Petersburg.

Regions with mega — cities are the most problematic, says coordinator of the movement “Patients in control” Andrey Skvortsov. Official data for some cities such as Saint Petersburg may be underestimated by three times, said the interlocutor of RBC (according to official figures, the city is 53.3 thousand HIV-infected of the 5.2 million population).

To say the region in which the official statistics are hiding, and what not, is difficult, says the coordinator of the street social work of Fund of assistance to the protection of the health and social justice named after Andrey Rylkov Maksym Malyshev. “The situation is bad in all regions — somewhere more, somewhere less. There are, however, historically places, where statistics are always above — Yekaterinburg, Kurgan, other Siberian cities,” he says.

At risk

Today a narcotic mode of transmission of HIV is gradually eroding, says Pokrovsky. According to the Federal AIDS center, 48% of new infections are in heterosexual relationships. “This is serial monogamy. People do not live long with one person, and constantly changing partners. If this chain has got at least one HIV-infected, then infected everything,” says Pokrovsky.

The main methods to combat the epidemic: effective prevention programmes, the introduction of sex education in schools and substitution therapy for drug addicts. “In France or Germany, substitution treatment is legal and infected ten times less. We still have a conservative approach, whose supporters raised a terrible howl and call to go his way, the number of infected will grow. First you need to stop the epidemic and then to promote a healthy way of life” — sums up the expert.

Prevention

Russia will save condoms, modern drugs for the treatment of HIV, public information, free tests to determine their status and harm reduction programs for drug addicts, starlings lists of “Patients in control”. “For a long time the problem of HIV as a shameful disease suppressed. Only this year began some offer free HIV testing. The situation must be corrected urgently,” he says.

In the first place, says pastors need to provide 100% of registered patients with HIV antiretroviral therapy is a life sustaining therapy for people with human immunodeficiency virus blocking the spread of infection. For the convenience of the patients the state should buy combined drugs, containing several active substances. This reduces the chances that HIV will stop taking the therapy because of the large number of tablets, indicates starlings.

Secondly, in Russia it is necessary to introduce harm reduction programmes for drug addicts. “Russian officials believe that such a program is just the distribution of methadone among drug users. But it’s not. Program harm reduction is a set of measures to identify injecting drug users, to give him the opportunity to pass all the tests, and to provide legal support and rehabilitation,” — says the expert.

First of all, prevention is necessary to introduce among the risk groups, says the kid from the “promotion Fund”. “Now almost non-existent outdoor work — no distribution nor syringes nor condoms. In Russia, only 26 organizations do real prevention, and a few of them are recognized as foreign agents and they do not give to work,” he said.

Today foreign agents recognized as five non-profit organizations, specializing in the HIV / AIDS problem in Russia, found RBC. This Perm NGO “Sibalt”, Saratov “Society” Penza “Panacea” and two of the Moscow organization — ESVERO and the Fund named after Andrey Rylkov.

In 2017, the government of Russia sent to the Ministry of health additional 2.3 billion rubles for the purchase of antiviral drugs for the prevention and treatment of HIV-infected. The corresponding decree was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. According to him, Sverdlovsk region will receive the largest amount among the regions 260,6 mln. on 25 October, the government approved a new strategy for HIV in which money for HIV is not provided.