Russia risks HIV epidemic as cases rise – experts

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11/28/2018

Russia and some former Soviet Union countries risk developing out-of-control HIV epidemics, experts said on Wednesday, after data showed a record number of new cases last year. Most new cases in the former Soviet Union in 2017 were from heterosexual sex as the disease spreads beyond high-risk groups, according to research by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The increased rate of new diagnoses in the region since 2012 comes amid a global decline and Masoud Dara, HIV specialist at the WHO, said it could be “an early indication of overspill in the general population”. “HIV starts off (in) key populations – meaning drug users, commercial sex workers and men having sex with men – but after that it (increases) exponentially … if there is no more intervention,” Dara told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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