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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AIDS Funding to Drop

Russia stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in international AIDS funding because it has been reclassified by the World Bank as an upper middle income country, just as it faces an escalating epidemic.

Although the global fund between now and 2011 will disburse more than $200 million of existing funding for AIDS and tuberculosis programs in Russia, it cannot issue any new HIV-related grants for Russia, said its spokesman, Jon Liden. "The country would need to have a large-scale epidemic in order to ask for more money," he said by telephone from Geneva.

"Russia, being a G8 nation with substantial economic growth, wouldn't want to be a recipient anyway," he said.

Natalya Ladnaya, an employee of the government-run Federal AIDS Center, said the international aid had been intended only to jump-start the focus on AIDS. "The political support of the government does now exist, so the task has been largely achieved," she said.

But Yekaterina Militskaya of the AIDS Foundation East West, a Holland-based nonprofit group that receives Global Fund financing, expressed concern. "We believe that every possible effort is required to fight AIDS at the moment," she said.

President Vladimir Putin ordered a 20-fold increase in AIDS-related spending this year, to more than $100 million.