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Fear of AIDS spreads

There is growing concern among government and UN officials that the rate of HIV infection in Kazakhstan is getting out of hand.

“The situation is certainly getting worse,” UN coordinator for multidonor projects for HIV prevention, Alexander Kossukhin told IRIN on Tuesday. “If the principles of UNAIDS are not properly cultivated among the drug using population here, the epidemic could easily spread to commercial sex workers - leaving us with an epidemic situation much like Russia’s.”

Kossukhin’s comments come in the wake of a statement on Monday by Kazakh deputy head of the health ministry, Anatoliy Belonog who described the country’s present situation with regard to AIDS as “extremely unfavourable”. According to the report by the Russian Interfax news agency on Monday, there are 1,307 registered HIV carriers in Kazakhstan today compared to 1,257 on 1 November.

[For further details, see UNAIDS’s epidemiological fact sheet at: http://www.unaids.org/hivaidsinfo/statistics/june00/fact_sheets/pdfs/kazakhstan.pdf]

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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