Russian Health Ministry: HIV testing scope in Russia almost reached 28% in 2019

Russian Health Ministry: HIV testing scope in Russia almost reached 28% in 2019
# 19 February 2020 16:40 (UTC +04:00)

The scope of HIV testing in Russia has reached 27.8% of the population in 2019: more than 40.8 million people have found out their HIV status, says Natalya Kostenko, head of the Health Ministry's Department of Emergency Medical Aid and Health Risks Control, APA reports citing TASS.

"In 2019, the scope of HIV testing has reached 27.8%, which means more than 40.8 million people have discovered their HIV status. This is 6.3% more than last year. This is one of the highest scores in the world," she said during a State Duma Healthcare Committee meeting.

In 2018, the HIV testing scope was 25.9%.

According to Kostenko, the HIV situation in Russia has stabilized, and incidence growth rate slowed down. In 2019, 80,118 new HIV cases were registered, which is 7.5% less than last year, she said.

"The highest infection rate is observed in people aged between 30 and 44. […] We also observe that the share of young people between 15 and 20 has reduced from 1.6% to 0.8%," she added.

Kostenko disclosed that 743,000 HIV-infected people are under dispensary supervision, and that more than 500,000 people receive anti-retrovirus therapy.

Health Minister Aide Lyalya Gabbasova disclosed that HIV testing scope grows by 2 million people every year.

"Every year, we add almost two million people to the testing scope. Health Ministry communications programs play a big role here," she said.

Gabbasova noted that the situation in key groups changes as well. Earlier, consumers of injection drugs were the biggest problem, while today, it is consumers of synthetic drugs, and this changes the ways of infection transmission. The share of injection and sexual transmission of the HIV are almost equal now, she said.