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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


AIDS Awareness

The Independent Analytical Center polled 2,000 residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg to find out what they do and don't know about AIDS:

Where can one catch the disease? Anywhere, respondents concurred. On public transportation, said 17 percent of the men and 10 percent of the women. In the bathroom, in the cafeteria, in conversation or in shaking hands, said another 15 percent of the women and 10 percent of the men.

How should one treat HIV-positive people? Seventy-one percent of the women and 61 percent of the men felt they should be under a doctor's care; 18 percent said they should be treated like healthy people; and 9 percent insisted they should be isolated from the rest of society,

What has caused the spread of AIDS? Women attributed the spread to "looser morals," young people blamed it on the "spread of drug addiction." St. Petersburgers, more often than Muscovites, cited the opening of Russia's borders and the opportunity to associate with foreigners.

How can one protect oneself from getting AIDS? Thirty-eight percent of the women and 34 percent of the men said they used condoms when having sex; 20 percent of the men and 17 percent of the women were convinced that their partner was neither sick nor infected; 33 percent of the men and 39 percent of the women claimed to have only one partner, a faithful one. Meanwhile, 2 percent of the men and 3 percent of the women had decided to take the extreme precaution of abstaining from sex altogether. But these last were older people. The young like variety.

Obshchaya Gazeta, Feb. 1

Premier Honors Poet

The meeting of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Joseph Brodsky in the funeral home at 199 Bleecker Street in lower Manhattan was not a variation on that classic theme, "the poet and the tsar." This meeting was on an entirely different level. And it somehow inspired the hope that we will in the end prevail, that all is not yet lost, that the gulag is not the inevitable form of existence in Russia where they call great poets filthy swine, in itself a swinish way to treat a person. Chernomyrdin's decision to go to Greenwich Village was made on the spur of the moment, almost reflexively. Which is why it is significant and revealing.

As Chernomyrdin was drawing away, he was surrounded by people who, like himself, had come to pay their last respects to the poet. Most of them were emigr?s from the former Soviet Union and Russia. Their faces expressed frank surprise, amazement even. Many asked if the Russian government would allow Brodsky to return home. Chernomyrdin said that only Brodsky's widow could decide where the poet would be buried, but he added that Russia would consider it an honor since -- and here he rephrased Pushkin's famous words -- it is only in Russia that the popular paths to poets' monuments do not become overgrown.

Izvestia, Feb. 3