Most Russians who are HIV-positive are between the ages of 25 and 44, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said.
"The first HIV case was registered in Russia in 1987. Since then, according to the Federal State Statistics Service, the total number of HIV-positive people has reached 742,631 people," Skvortsova said at a meeting of the government commission on healthcare issues on Oct. 23.
She said that "11 percent of them were registered in Federal Penitentiary Service establishments." "Since 2006, there has been a steady increase in HIV, on average 10 percent a year, ranging from 6 percent to 16 percent," the minister said.
In 2014, 92,613 new HIV cases were registered, which is almost 11,000 more than the number of cases registered in 2013, i.e., an 12 percent increase.
"The highest number of HIV cases were registered among people aged between 25 and 44. It is important to note that 13.3 percent of new cases are diagnosed at advance stages and are accompanied by other infections," the minister said.
She said the HIV rate in Russia in 2014 is 1.5 higher than the HIV rate in the EU countries.
"Most of the people who contracted the infection in 2014, like in the previous years, contracted it through blood (57.3 percent). At the same time, the tendency towards increased transmission through heterosexual contacts has been observed in the past ten years, and this rate reached 40.3 percent in 2014. Thus, socially well-situated population groups are being involved in the epidemiological situation in our country," Skvortsova said.
Skvortsova suggested that all people who turn to medical establishments in the regions where an intensive increase in the HIV rate is observed should get tested for HIV.
"In the regions where the number of infected people is increasing intensively and where the percentage of HIV-positive pregnant women is above 1 percent, HIV tests should be offered to everyone who turns to medical establishments for medical assistance," Skvortsova said.
The minister said she is talking about 22 regions.
Skvortsova also said the regions should give attention to testing people who are in temporary accommodation facilities.
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