Spread of AIDS reaching threatening levels in Chechnya
By Umalt Chadayev
CHECHNYA – Official approval has been granted to a nation-wide program bearing the title “Urgent measures to prevent the spread of disease caused by human immunodeficiency for the period 2008-2012."
A health ministry official believes that the acceptance of this document will strengthen the fight against disease and the spread of HIV/AIDS in the republic.
"In my view, this programme will lead to a more successful solution to the problem. The situation with regard to the spread of HIV in the republic today is a dangerous one," he says.”784 cases of HIV infection have been registered at the National Centre in Grozny alone. Of those patients, 283 are currently on the clinic’s books," he said in an interview with Prague Watchdog’s correspondent.
"The spread of HIV has been observed in 98 of the country’s population centres. The highest number of AIDS cases was recorded in the city of Grozny, affecting 304 people, including 58 women and 10 children," the employee says. "It’s followed by Groznensky district, with 93 cases, including 21 women and 3 children, and Urus-Martanovsky district, with 74 patients, of whom 15 are women and 2 are children."
He says that the mountainous part of the republic has the lowest number of AIDS cases. Thus, in Nozhay-Yurtovsky district only one patient was found to be infected with HIV, and two and three in the neighbouring Itum- Kalinsky and Shatoysky districts respectively.
"It should also be noted that of the 784 HIV cases, more than 50% are drug addicts. Just over 30% were infected by sexual transmission. In recent years 84 people have died of AIDS in Chechnya, including 5 in the first half of the present one," the medical worker says.
Specialists are seriously worried by the fact that the republic has a growing number of children infected with the AIDS virus. " There is a total of 95 HIV-infected families in the republic as a whole. 73 children born to women with AIDS have been registered. The situation with regard to the incidence and spread HIV/AIDS is much more serious than many people think," he believes. "But we are only talking about officially registered cases of this ‘20th century plague’. But how many sufferers have not turned to their doctors? How many don’t even suspect that they have AIDS? In fact, the actual number of people infected with HIV may be several times higher. "
A few weeks ago a National Centre for the Prevention and Control of AIDS opened in Grozny, and is now operational. It has a special laboratory, a clinic for patients who are HIV-infected, an obstetric department and a psychiatric service.
Translation by DM.
(D/T) RELATED ARTICLES:
· AIDS problem worsening in Chechnya