RUSSIA and some former Soviet Union countries are facing an ‘out of control HIV epidemic’, astonishing figures have revealed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the disease has spread beyond high-risk groups, with most new cases coming from heterosexual sex. Last year there were more than 1.2million HIV diagnoses in Russia, according to WHO data, and experts believe it doesn’t reflect the full picture. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of Russian men who had sex with another man and got infected with HIV more than doubled to 695. But across the rest of the former Soviet Union, new cases of heterosexual transmission soared by 59 per cent, to almost 18,000. Nikolay Lunchenkov, a doctor at the Moscow Regional AIDS Center said: “HIV starts off [in] key populations – meaning drug users, commercial sex workers and men having sex with men – but after that it [increases] exponentially… if there is no more intervention.” He added: “We don’t have enough data about men who have sex with other men, because of high levels of stigma.” Activists believe the dramatic rise in HIV among homosexuals is because of widespread discrimination against the LGBT community. Yuri Yourskym, of the Eurasion Coalition on… Read full this story
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