the AIDS Epidemic will destroy Russia

the AIDS Epidemic will destroy RussiaAIDS Foundation East-West" is a non - governmental non-profit organization established with the support of the government of the Netherlands and the Institute "open Society", to combat the AIDS epidemic in the territory of the former USSR and Mongolia. This structure is separated from the well-known organization "Doctors without borders". The headquarters are located in Moscow, representative offices in Kiev and Almaty. Now sells more than ten different projects, focusing on AIDS prevention and care. General Director of the AIDS Foundation East-West" Rian van De Braak and Director of programmes of the organization WIM lander commented in an interview with WPF the situation of AIDS in Russia. According to them, it is catastrophic. Van De Braak: Our organization is based on the world experience of AIDS. We employ experts with a wide range of knowledge that help us to create programs that are designed for quick results. Question: How do You assess the level of cooperation with the Russian government? Van De Braak: during the whole period of our work we have worked with various ministries such as the Ministry of health, Ministry of justice and others. Cooperation has been developing very well, and these patterns do everything they can within their limited capabilities. The fight against the AIDS epidemic in Russia needs strong political support, involvement in her leading politicians. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet. Lander: According to official statistics, AIDS in Russia infected 35 thousand people, but according to unofficial data, infected more than 4-6 times. The epidemic is spreading with increasing speed, which shows that the governments of Russia, Ukraine and other countries do not have a coordinated strategy to tackle it. In the Federal budget of Russia in the fight against AIDS allocated $6 million Is a drop in the bucket compared to the $6 billion allocated for similar purposes by the U.S. budget. Department of AIDS control Ministry of health of Russia consists of four people who worked on this site back in 1995 when we started. These people do not have the funds and staff to effectively tackle the epidemic. For a better understanding of the situation, you can look at the experience of Brazil, population and GDP which is comparable with the Russian. This country is beginning to struggle with the AIDS epidemic a few years ago. The state has been very aggressive and has created a real functioning mechanism to combat the spread of the epidemic. Brazil has become an example of how a country with limited resources can successfully reduce the size of this disaster and to limit the spread of AIDS. Russian officials, we present Brazil as an example. Unfortunately, Russia had never considers the fight against AIDS a priority. It is very important that the people and government of Russia realized how much damage causes AIDS their country. So far, the epidemic has struck only risk groups - drug users, prisoners, prostitutes. Now, however, AIDS is spreading into other areas of society. According to the forecast, in 2005 Russia will live 5 million infected, and by the end of the decade 10 million This is an incredibly serious increase in the number of infected. The disease will affect mainly young people that seriously affect the country's economy and will have a powerful destabilizing effect. It's a giant shaft of the problems that is coming to Russia with incredible speed, and nobody tries to stop him. Question: how can You explain it? Van De Braak: Lack of attention to this due to the fact that Russia now has so many other problems. Before you begin to act, governments prefer to see the reality and inevitability of the threat. The AIDS epidemic, in turn, has long remained invisible, but then explodes with great force society. Another problem is that the fight against AIDS has become the prerogative of the Ministry of health of Russia, and no one else was allowed to participate in this process. But this is a mistaken strategy. Need a comprehensive approach: attach the Ministry of justice, because a large number of infected persons in custody, the Ministry of defence, because in the risk group are recruits, Ministry of internal Affairs, because the need for special police units to combat drugs and prostitution. Thus, up until the Ministry of health has a monopoly on the fight against AIDS, we can achieve very little. Question: Treatment of AIDS is very expensive. As people in the former USSR, which have relatively low incomes can pay for the purchase of these medicines? Lander: unfortunately, in Russia only a very small group of infected gets a "triple therapy". This method of treatment is a guarantee that the AIDS virus cannot be adapted to the used antibiotics. In Russia, the drug supply is irregular, and it is not possible to treat large populations. Today we do not know how many people in Russia to receive such treatment. According to our estimates, about 5 thousand people from the official 35 thousand infected. Only 10% of these 5 thousand receive "triple therapy", which means that the treatment is effective only for 500 people, as the virus becomes resistant, if you use only one or two drugs. The last few years at the level of governments and major pharmaceutical companies were serious discussions and negotiations, with the goal to reduce the cost of drugs used to treat AIDS. In the past the price of the similar drug was $10 thousand per year per person. This amount was not included the cost of other medical services. In the end, some countries have successfully reduced the price to $300-500 per person per year. Unfortunately, Russia has never participated in such negotiations. Ukraine, by contrast, has delegated a number of governmental organizations to negotiate with pharmacists, thus reducing the price of drugs up to $1.7 thousand per person per year.


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