In the Vladimir Region, 7,779 patients with HIV infection were registered during the entire period of observation. By May 2022 1,769 of them died, including 667 from the consequences of the disease. Since the beginning of the year, 145 new cases have been detected in the region, which is 10% less than the same period last year. These statistics were announced by the regional health authorities to the World AIDS Memorial Day, which is annually celebrated on the third Sunday of May.
According to the statistics, over time, the proportion of cases of HIV transmission through intravenous drug use is decreasing, while the sexual route has come to the fore. It is now the route of transmission in two out of three new cases. During the last 20 years the age statistics of HIV-infected people in the region has also “turned upside down”. While in 2001 83% of patients were under the age of 29 at the time the virus was detected, now 76.3% of new cases are people over 30.
With regular free therapy for HIV infection, people who are HIV-positive can lead a normal life. Pregnant women with HIV who take medication are almost 100% likely to have healthy babies. In 2019 and 2020, for example, all babies from HIV-positive mothers were born healthy in the region.
“In all years of the epidemic, 1,316 children were born to HIV-positive mothers in the region, including 20 children this year. The HIV diagnosis was confirmed in 93 children born to HIV-positive mothers. At present, 296 children are being observed at the center, of whom 62 have a confirmed HIV diagnosis,” the regional healthcare department reports.
HIV statistics in places of detention is rather closed. According to the regional FSIN, 43 people have died of the consequences of HIV in the last five years. In 2021, 8 out of 18 such deaths occurred in prisons. Since the beginning of 2022, the regional public health service reported 13 deaths, of which how many were in the penitentiary system is unknown. The difficulty in treating patients in captivity is due to the high risk for HIV-positive inmates to catch tuberculosis. One-third of prisoners with TB also have HIV.
For a long time, the immunodeficiency virus may not manifest itself or affect the health of its carriers. In Russia, a few years ago, most HIV-positive people were not prescribed therapy when their immune system indicators were normal. The World Health Organization encourages countries to start therapy as early as possible. This way the viral load of patients is reduced to indeterminate, and with it the probability of virus transmission through unprotected sex decreases.
According to the Ministry of Health, the Vladimir region has listened to the WHO. While in 2014 only 31% of those diagnosed with the disease received treatment, by 2020 the proportion had risen to 55%. And if in 2017 only 23% received treatment immediately after detection of the disease, in 2020 this figure rose to 90%. Thanks to this, the number of HIV carriers with undetectable viral load in the region doubled (up to 2.8 thousand people) from 2018 to 2020 alone.
The Vladimir region is one of the regions with an average severity of the HIV problem. The Ivanovo Region is considered to be relatively unfavorable among our neighboring regions. While our region has 4.5 people per thousand inhabitants, in the Ivanovo region the figure reaches 9.4 people.