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Science  15 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6394, pp. 1170-1175
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6394.1170

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At a time when HIV epidemics in Western Europe are shrinking, Russia's is growing by about 10% a year. Russia, in fact, between 2010 and 2015 accounted for more than 80% of all the new infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Not only has the country turned away assistance from The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, it also has refused to adopt scientifically proven strategies to slow spread between people who inject drugs, the community that kicked off the Russian epidemic. Only about one in three of the estimated 1 million Russians living with HIV have access to antiretroviral drugs, which means that the country doesn't receive much benefit on a population level from what's known as treatment as prevention. But there are signs in St. Petersburg that its unusually progressive response—by Russian standards—is beginning to turn things around.

  • * Reporting for this story was supported by the Pulitzer Center.