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Elton John will help the Russian Ministry of Health to combat HIV

December 15, 2017

80% of all HIV-infected people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia live in Russia.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has agreed to cooperate with the Russian Ministry of Health. Elton John told this at his concert on December 14 in Crocus City Hall.

“This visit is special for me, because today my AIDS Foundation and the Russian Ministry of Health have agreed on a closer partnership to combat this epidemic here in Russia. In order to do this, we must help some of the most vulnerable people in this country. They are not criminals, not strangers. They belong to this country. And they deserve our compassion”.

Anne Aslett, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, told Novaya Gazeta that 80% of all HIV-infected people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia live in Russia.

“The reason for this surge is that no one pays attention to the causes of this epidemic and the populations where situation is the most critical. According to doctors, the LGBT community and people who inject drugs are the most vulnerable to HIV”, Ann said. In order to reverse this situation, the Foundation is going to establish a separate organization that will work only with the Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries.

Non-profit organizations are doing important work, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and one of the goals, according to the Executive Director of the Elton John Foundation, is to support the actions of the Ministry of Health aimed at reducing the epidemic pace. Ann emphasized that it is necessary both to promote prevention programs and to actively treat HIV-infected people:

“If you diagnose and treat HIV-positive people, you will reduce their risk of developing the deadly disease by 96%”. Anne Eslett

According to the Elton John Foundation, since 2010 the number of HIV-infected people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has increased by more than 50%. The new fund will ensure testing and prevention for 20,000 people, and provide treatment for 5000 persons already infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

As previously reported, the Elton John Foundation starts financing projects in the EECA region. The EECA Fund for the key affected populations will cover 20,000 people with prevention, testing and treatment. Moreover, it will also provide treatment for 5,000 patients with HIV and hepatitis C: this initiative will be supported by Gilead Sciences, committing to supply patients with the necessary amount of medications.

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