01:22 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Russia May Soon Eliminate HIV Transmission From Mother to Baby

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    Russia could soon announce it has eliminated the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to child, the executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On June 30, 2015, the World Health Organization announced that Cuba had become the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to baby.

    "We are seeing also that Russia has almost eliminated the transmission from mother to child. So Russia can be following Cuba announcing soon that they don't have babies born with HIV," Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Michel Sidibe said in an interview to Sputnik organized with the help of the UN Information Centre in Moscow on the sidelines of the fifth Conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

    Unfortunately, about 70 percent of newly infected people in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are coming from Russia, Sidibe stated.

    "I am leaving this conference with hope because I can really see the leadership of Russia coming behind and trying to really reach our goal of ending AIDS by 2030," he stressed.

    The number of people living with HIV in Russia is estimated between 850,000 and 1.3 million, the UNAIDS figures revealed.

    Since HIV was first identified more than 30 years ago, improved medicines have only slowed the progression of HIV to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).


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