Cases of HIV in Russia are now the highest in Europe.
The country saw some 100,000 new infections recorded in the most recent year’s figures.
The trend goes against that seen in the rest of Europe, where new infections have generally stabilised or fallen.
98,177 new diagnoses of HIV were diagnosed in Russia in 2015, the most recent year to have its data published.
Russia now accounts for 64% of all HIV cases in Europe, up from 60% on previous aidsmap figures.
The upward trend is the reason HIV rates are up as a whole across Europe, even though some countries have seen falls.
144 million people live in Russia, making it bigger than Germany, France and the UK.
Experts say the most common means of transmission is drug use and needles.
However the Russia government has very limited programmes for helping people come off injecting drugs.
While in many nations programmes are provided to help users withdraw from injecting drugs – such as using methadone – the Russian government has hardly any assistance in place.
The figures may well under-estimate transmission rates, as many don’t know their status.
Homophobic countries frequently have higher rates of undiagnosed HIV rates, as people are less comfortable to seek medical help for fear of prejudice and discrimination.
by Benjamin Butterworth
Source – PinkNews