HIV/AIDS is reducing the number of Russians and their life expectancy
The spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), an infection which is life-long and after a few years leads to the development of the deadly acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), has led to a pandemic of HIV/AIDS affecting the size and life expectancy of the world's population. The article presents data on the incidence of HIV infection and related mortality in the Russian Federation collected and systematized by the authors. In Russia, around 100,000 new cases of HIV are registered annually. The total number has reached 1 million, with the share of AIDS-related deaths relentlessly approaching 1% of total mortality from all causes, and in the 30–39 age group exceeding 5%. HIV represents nearly 50% of all deaths from infectious diseases, and is causing an overall growth in the number of such diseases. There is a direct threat of a further increase in HIV/AIDS-related deaths, as HIV-infected Russians comprise 1% of Russia's population aged 15-49. The group most affected by HIV are those aged 35-39: 2% of them are living with HIV. In the 30-34 age group, the proportion of persons with HIV is approaching 2%, and in the 40-44 age group it exceeds 1%. The growing proportion of heterosexual transmissions of HIV and the increasing number of HIV-infected women are alarming signs of the HIV epidemic’s spillover from intravenous drug users into the general population, making the economic impact of the epidemic even worse. It is necessary to prevent further losses in the most productive part of the population by introducing more efficient HIV prevention strategies and expanding access to treatment of people living with HIV.
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