Prime Minister calls for urgent action to respond to the growing AIDS epidemic in the Russian Federation

23 October 2015

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for a series of urgent measures to respond to the growing AIDS epidemic in his country.

"HIV is a most serious global challenge faced by all countries, without exception. Russia is also facing this problem. HIV is spreading not only among drug addicts and vulnerable groups,” said the Prime Minister in his role as Chairman of the Government Commission for Health Protection of Citizens.

At a high-level meeting on 23 October in Moscow, the Commission announced a series of urgent actions, including the development of a state strategy for the HIV response, centralizing the procurement and supply of HIV drugs and test systems, and accelerating the domestic research, development and production of antiretroviral drugs to treat people living with HIV in the country.

"Today, Prime Minister Medvedev made a bold and timely call for urgent action that has the power to save lives and change the course of the epidemic in Russia," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

The Russian Federation accounts for more than 70% of the estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. UNAIDS works in close partnership with the Russian Government on the HIV response in the Russian Federation, in key countries in the region and in Brazil, India, China and South Africa.