29 May 2018 18:59

Over 10,000 HIV-infected children registered in Russia in early 2018

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) - Over 10,000 children in Russia live with HIV-infection diagnosis, nearly all of them are being under supervision, while over 90% of them are undergoing antiretroviral therapy, the Russian Health Ministry's part-time specialist for the problems of diagnostics and HIV infection treatment, Yevgeny Voronin, said.

"Over 10,000 children diagnosed with the HIV infection are registered in Russia at the beginning of this year, including 26% children of pre-school age, 31% primary and secondary school students and about 43% each second HIV-infected adolescent, who are teenagers. Nearly all children are undergoing regular medical examinations - 99%, the percentage of early HIV diagnoses in children stands at 89%," Voronin told a press conference on Tuesday.

The majority of children, making up 91%, are undergoing antiretroviral therapy, while the viral load is not determined in 88% of them, he said. "This indicates the high quality of treatment," Voronin said.

With the early diagnostics and the early commencement of antiretroviral therapy a HIV-infected child will be able to live the same life in terms of its span and quality as a child not infected with HIV, the specialist said.

"Today, the issues of psychological and social support to HIV-infected children, efforts to tackle stigmatization, protect the rights of a HIV-infected child are being prioritized," Voronin said.

Overall, in the world despite the successes made in combating the AIDS/HIV, the situation with HIV-infected children remains tense, as over two million HIV-infected children live in the world, the expert said. "About 160,000 children get infected with HIV every year, and only 42% of them are undergoing antiretroviral therapy," the Health Ministry's chief AIDS/HIV specialist said.