Injection Drug Use and HIV/AIDS

61. HIV Prevalence in the Russian Federation

"Russia now has a 1 percent HIV prevalence rate among its young people and the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world. While the epidemic is still predominantly fuelled by injecting drug users and confined to their ranks, there are clear signs that the epidemic continues to spread to the general population, especially the youth."

UNODC, "Illicit Drug Trends in the Russian Federation," (UNODC Regional Office for Russia and Belarus, April 2008), p. 6.

62. HIV Transmission and IDUs in Russia, 2006

"The epidemic disproportionately affects IDUs who comprise 87% of the cumulative number of registered HIV cases, however, with the epidemic becoming more mature, the infection tendency away from IDUs to heterosexual is also increasing with 68% of newly registered cases by the end of 2004 corresponding to IDU and 30% to heterosexuals (In the previous year heterosexual transmission accounted for 23.4% of new infections). The interpretation of the tendency towards less new infections diagnosed is not an indication of a slowing of the epidemic but rather reflective of the changes in HIV testing policy, the smaller number of tests performed in population groups with high-risk behaviors and also a shortage of test kits."

United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime, "Illicit Drug Trends in the Russian Federation, 2005" (Moscow, Russian Federation: UNODC Regional Office for Russia and Belarus, November 2006), p. 14.

63. HIV Infections and IDU

"Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and significant parts of Asia are experiencing explosive growth in new HIV infections, driven largely by injecting drug use (UNAIDS, 2006). While the primary route of transmission in most of these areas is sharing of contaminated injecting equipment, sexual and perinatal transmission among IDUs [injecting drug users] and their partners also plays an important and growing role. In many highly affected countries, rapid growth in the number of IDUs infected with HIV has already created a public health crisis. Countries where the level of HIV infection is still relatively low have the chance -- if they act now -- to slow the spread of HIV."

Committee on the Prevention of HIV Infection among Injecting Drug Users in High-Risk Countries, "Preventing HIV Infection among Injecting Drug Users in High Risk Countries: An Assessment of the Evidence" (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2006), p. 187.