The HIV infection rate increased seven times in the Volgograd region last year in comparison with the year 2000. It seems that the gloomiest forecasts are coming true. AIDS can not be controlled now, and its epidemic is becoming like an avalanche in the Volgograd region. There are 2,265 infected people in the region at the present moment. Eighty-percent of them young people between 19-30 years of age, and the majority of the infected are drug addicts. There are people infected with HIV in small towns of the region as well; doctors say that there are more ill people in other regional towns. It is also worth mentioning that the HIV-infected people think that the more people are infected with AIDS, the quicker the remedy will be found. For this very reason, they conceal their lethal diagnosis from other people, from their relatives, and continue to infect everyone around. That is why the AIDS epidemic can be compared to an avalanche.
The talk about the isolation of people infected with AIDS disappeared after the total number of infected people reached tens of millions. If there were a place for such isolation, it would take up the territory of England. AIDS brings up very unexpected problems, together with the evident fear. Twenty Volgograd residents died of AIDS last year, and some of them had kids. The fate of those innocent little children is a lot more sorrowful than their parents’ fate. The close relatives of those children refused to take care of them, being afraid that they might catch this disease too. It is not possible to send them to the asylums of the region for the same reason.
There are 3,031 officially registered drug addicts in the region, and more than a half of them have AIDS as well as hepatitis. They sometimes try to become blood donors, searching for any possible way to get money for another dose. So a tragedy similar to the one that happened in the city of Elista, the republic of Kalmykia, when dozens of children were infected in a children’s hospital, is very likely to repeat again. In the meantime, the target HIV prevention program of the region has been funded only at the level of 17%, and the program for the struggle with the infection was funded at the level of 12%.
Andrey Cherkasov PRAVDA.Ru Volgograd
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov