Skip to comments.Insight - Russia says no to West's way with HIV
Posted on 12/21/2011 4:04:17 PM PST by kronos77
(Reuters) - In 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev said heroin was a threat to Russia's national security. This year, Russia pledged to finance programmes to reduce the harm done by drug use, including an HIV crisis that is one of the most severe in the world.
But even though the number of new HIV infections in Russia jumped 10 percent over 2011, health workers and global HIV authorities say Moscow has not honoured that promise.
This is not due to a lack of cash - Russia is doubling its budget for HIV in 2012 from 2010 levels. At issue is how it will use the funds. From next year, no money will go to such internationally recognised efforts as needle exchanges. None has ever gone to heroin substitution: the Russian authorities oppose it. Moscow doesn't believe these approaches help slow the spread of HIV/AIDS.
"Working on drug dependency is more effective than needle exchange and methadone programmes," said Alexei Mazus, who heads the Moscow Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention, one of around 100 such venues across the country run by the health ministry.
In areas where needle exchanges have taken place, he said the health ministry had seen new HIV cases increase, not fall. Russia's health ministry said last year it had evidence that HIV rates have tripled in areas where foreign-run needle exchange programmes were running.
The United Nations says so-called "harm reduction" programmes - needle exchanges, and using methadone as a substitute for heroin - are effective in slowing the spread of HIV. Methadone reduces the risk of infection by dirty needles because it can be swallowed, rather than injected.
(Excerpt) Read more at uk.reuters.com ...
I’m surprised russia doesn’t just make HIV a crime. Lock up anyone caught being HIV positive.
Compared to the horror of using “Krocodile” the Russians should give heroin out for free.