Russia

Russian Retirees Increasingly at Risk of HIV Due to Unprotected Sex and Drug Parties, Expert Warns

Pensioners in Russia are increasingly at risk of contracting HIV due to sexual activity, the head of a regional health center in Russias northern republic of Karelia has warned.

Late last month, the World Health Organization warned that Russia risked developing an out-of-control HIV epidemic after data showed a record number of new cases last year. Official data says there were an estimated 104,000 new HIV diagnoses in 2017, taking total cases to more than 1.2 million, though experts have said this is probably an understatement.

Late last month, the director of Karelias AIDS Center, Inna Rozhkova, said that Russian pensioners were increasingly being considered an at-risk group for HIV.

“In general, this population group leads a very active sexual lifestyle,” Rozhkova was cited as saying by the Rosbаlt news outlet. “Sex at 60 is now the norm.”

“They exchange partners and have group sex,” she added, citing the accounts of her patients. “They meet in each others apartments for quick sex and they also use drugs.”

Rozhkova said that over the past year, the republic of Karelia has seen an uptick in HIV cases.

“We are being flooded [with new cases] right now,” she said. “We have never had so many patients.”

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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