Experts from the UN's department for fighting AIDS (UNAIDS) have visited the Altai region. According to the UN's website, the purpose of the visit was to begin work on a joint project with regional administrations to combat the spread of the HIV virus in Russia's regions.
The group included scientists, doctors and coordinators from the World Health Organisation, the UN Children's Fund and the UN Development Programme. According to the international experts, the experience that experts from the Altai have built up in the field of AIDS prevention is a strong guarantee of successful cooperation.
According to Tatyana Shumilina, an employee at the Moscow branch of UNAIDS, the Altai is 'one of the areas of Russia where a programme for reducing infection rates is being financed by the regional and municipal authorities'.
Scientists have predicted that by 2005 the number of those infected with HIV due to the use of intravenous drugs could reach 1.5-2 million in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Today there are over 145 thousand people registered in Russia as being HIV positive.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969