The AIDS epidemic in Russia has reached record levels.
Russia’s top AIDS specialist, Vadim Pokrovsky, told Reuters that while the real number of HIV positive Russians could very well be as high as 1.5 million — which would account for one percent of the population — there are at least one million Russians living with the AIDS causing virus for which there is presently no cure.
According to Pokrovsky, the country registered its millionth HIV positive patient on January 20, 2015. The AIDS specialist, who also heads the nation’s federal AIDS centre, indicated to Reuters that the patient was a 26-year-old woman residing in the country’s southern region.
With the exception of Estonia, Russia’s per person HIV infection rates have exceeded those of the rest of the European countries, The Independent reported.
In contrast to Russia’s one million registered infections, the United Kingdom only has about 100,000 infections.
On the upside, a new HIV prevention pill known as Truvada has shown promise in preventing infections in individuals deemed to be at high-risk of contracting the deadly and incurable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.
Truvada, which the CDC has advocated on behalf of, is taken as part of a pre-exposure prophylaxis in which the pill is consumed orally on a daily basis by those at risk of contracting the virus.
Such notions aside, Pokrovsky claims that the AIDS epidemic “is gathering strength” and that “the measures that have been taken have clearly” been inadequate.
The epidemic is gathering strength. Unfortunately the measures that have been taken have clearly not been enough
According to Pokrovsky, Russia is “in a transitional phase” in which the epidemic, which is currently concentrated in a particular subset of the population, is transitioning into a generalized epidemic that encompasses a more broad segment of the country’s population.
In other news, researchers have developed a new smartphone device that can accurately test for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in just 15 minutes.