The Silenced Epidemic: Why Does Russia Fail to Address HIV?

The Silenced Epidemic: Why Does Russia Fail to Address HIV?
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Whereas significant progress has been made in controlling HIV globally, Russia’s epidemic has continued to grow for the past thirty years. Out of a total population of 144 million, about 1.1 million Russians currently live with HIV. This national crisis is largely the result of government failure to support necessary prevention approaches such as harm reduction programs, public information campaigns, and sex education in secondary schools. Instead, Russian government policies marginalize vulnerable groups, restrict the work of civil society organizations in HIV prevention and care, and suppress the dissemination of critical information regarding the scale of the epidemic. By neglecting evidence–based prevention programs, the Russian government misses the opportunity to develop an effective response to one of the country’s most pressing health problems. Because of these realities, international organizations must find new ways to encourage Russia to rethink its HIV/AIDS policies by engaging in dialogue with the Russian government, business organizations, and civil society groups.

Published in 2022 by Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
Ulla Pape