In January 2017, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation rejected a request to allocate $1.2 billion over four years for the response to HIV, citing “a lack of federal funds.” The Ministry of Health had asked for the funds in order to implement the National AIDS Strategy 2017-2020. Approved in October 2016, this was the first national AIDS strategy ever developed in the Russian Federation.

The rejection of the funding request once again brought into question the ability and willingness of the Russian Federation to manage its serious HIV epidemic. According to the country’s Federal AIDS Center, as of September 2016 there were 1,087,339 cases of HIV officially registered, of which 233,152 had died. (Unofficial estimates put the number of people infected at about 1.5 million.) HIV prevalence was 0.6%. The number of new case is increasing by 10% annually. Less than a third of the people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy.

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