Research On Drug Use, HIV Prevention Interventions Necessary To Stop Virus In Russia

Moscow Times: Russia’s HIV Epidemic Starts In Its Prisons
Lyuba Azbel, research associate at the Yale School of Medicine

“…[Russia’s] government policy actually boosts the spread of HIV. Research shows that extrajudicial policing and police harassment in Russia creates an environment of fear, contributing to syringe sharing. … While alternatives to incarceration should be sought whenever possible, prison is an optimal environment for the implementation of prevention, detection and control measures, especially given that HIV prevalence is generally several times higher than in the community. To determine the most appropriate interventions, our team at the Yale School of Medicine, together with local prison departments, is carrying out the first rigorous and representative health assessments of prison populations in the post-Soviet space…” (7/14).