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    CIVIL SOCIETY SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN AIDS PREVENTION

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    ST. PETERSBURG, March 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russia's Chief Sanitary Physician Gennady Onishchenko believes that civil society should be involved in the problem of AIDS prevention in Russia.

    "This problem has already got a political aspect," Onishchenko told journalists in St. Petersburg. The Russian President mentioned AIDS prevention in his last year's state-of-the-nation address, he added.

    According to Onishchenko, 120-130 million rubles are annually allocated from the federal budget on AIDS prevention. If we add means allocated from local budgets, this sum totals 700 million rubles, he noted.

    There are 266,000 HIV-infected people in Russia, Onishchenko said. 22,000 of them live in St. Petersburg.

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