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Russian Health Official Expresses Concern Over Spread Of HIV Among Women

13 Jun 2006 - Gennady Onishchenko, Russia's chief physician, on Thursday at an HIV/AIDS conference in Moscow expressed concern about the spread of HIV among women and mother-to-child transmission of the virus, RIA Novosti reports. Vadim Pokrovsky, head of Russia's federal AIDS research center, said that 1% of people ages 18 to 23 in Russia are HIV-positive and a majority of those people contracted the virus through sexual contact (RIA Novosti [1], 6/8).

The officials were speaking at an international parliamentary conference on HIV/AIDS, which opened on Thursday. The conference, "HIV/AIDS in Eurasia and the G8's Role in the Fight Against the Epidemic," brings together members of parliament and political and public figures from G8 member countries to draw up measures to prevent the spread of HIV in the region and around the world (RIA Novosti [2], 6/8).

Onishchenko said more attention needs to be paid to how the disease is transmitted, adding that the issue is expected to be discussed at the G8 summit scheduled to take place next month in St. Petersburg, Russia. Onishchenko also urged civil society to participate more in efforts to combat HIV/AIDS (RIA Novosti [1], 6/8).

Russia estimates the official number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country is 334,000, but UNAIDS says it is about 900,000, and other experts say the number likely is more than one million (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/23).


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