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    RUSSIAN ACADEMICIAN: UNDP AIDS STATISTICS FOR CIS EXAGGERATED

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    MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - The number of HIV-infected in Russia and CIS countries cited in the new report of the UN Development Program, HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: steps to stem the epidemic, is an exaggeration. This is the opinion Academician of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences Vadim Pokrovsky, heading the federal scientific and methodological anti-AIDS center, expressed at the presentation of this report in Moscow.

    According to the report, 1% of Eastern European and CIS residents are HIV-infected.

    "This can be seen as the most pessimistic scenario but the figure is actually exaggerated," said the academician. He trusts more the information cited by the UNA (UN - AIDS) international organization, which estimates the number of HIV-infected in Russia at no more than 0.4%, i.e. 700,000-800,000 people.

    According to the Russian Health Ministry, the number of HIV-infected in the country was 265,000 people as of early this year.

    At the presentation of the UNDP report, there was discontent with the fact that Russian experts had not been invited to work over the report. Pokrovsky with whom the UNDP had allegedly cooperated said they had asked him a few questions on the phone, and the academician does not know how his answers had been interpreted. "I did not participate in the work over the report in any possible way," stressed the Russian scientist.

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