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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Report Says AIDS Cases Increasing Sharply in Russia

KIEV -- The AIDS epidemic in Russia and Ukraine continues to grow dramatically, the United Nations said Monday, while warning that Uzbekistan has experienced a dramatic spike in both HIV and AIDS cases.

Across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, some 270,000 people were newly affected with HIV, and some 62,000 died of the disease in the past year, the UN said in a report released Monday. The diseases spread was being driven mostly by intravenous drug use and unsafe sex, the report said.

Russia continues to have the largest number of AIDS and HIV cases in Europe, with some 300,000 new cases officially registered by the end of 2004, the report said. The actual number, however, is estimated to be much higher. An estimated 860,000 people in Russia had HIV in 2003.

New HIV cases also continued to rise in Ukraine -- jumping by nearly 25 percent to 12,400 from 2003 to 2004, it said.

The report said Uzbekistan was experiencing a dramatic increase in HIV and AIDS diagnoses. The country reported just 28 HIV diagnoses in 1999, but last year, 2,000 new cases brought the total number to over 5,600, the report said.

The report emphasized the problem with official statistics, noting that current HIV data reflected the situation only for those who contacted HIV testing programs. It also said the lack of studies on sex among gay men and the stigma attached to both homosexuality and AIDS was contributing to the problem.