Russia announces registry containing details of HIV-positive patients
Russia has announced that it plans to suggest that anyone diagnosed with HIV to appear on a central registry.
Despite being currently optional, many are concerned that people could be forced to appear on the registry and that it could be used to discriminate against HIV positive people.
Speaking to TASS, a Health Ministry spokesperson said that the registry was intended to streamline HIV resources.
They said that medicines would be more readily available as a result of the registry, announced on 1 January.
According to the Health Ministry, 824,000 out of 850,000 HIV-positive people have been added to the registry already.
But HIV/AIDS activists fear that a large number of undiagnosed HIV-positive people are not on the register.
According to reports, less than half of HIV-positive people in Russia receive treatment.
Most of Russia’s HIV budget goes on medicine, and activists fear that more should be spent on preventative measures such as sex education and condoms.
Government-approved health experts in Russia last year blamed condoms for the spread of HIV.
The experts, who are backed by the government, described how access to condoms promotes promiscuity.
The Russian Institute of Strategic Research presented the study at a public health commission in Moscow City Council. It stated that western models of fighting against HIV paid too much attention to at-risk groups such as drug addicts and LGBT people.
Authors also said that these models would not work in Russia because “cultural, historical and psychological characteristics of the population” are different.