RUSSIA: Kremlin Blames Condoms For HIV Epidemic

From the Moscow Times:

Kremlin-backed experts have described condoms as the main cause of Russia HIV epidemic, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday. The report from the Russian Institute for Strategic Research (RISR) described the country’s HIV problem as part of information war against Russia.

The institute’s deputy director Tatyana Guzenkova said that HIV and AIDS were used as part of the information war against Russia. Guzenkova said that there are two models for fighting HIV: Western and Russian.

She defined the Western method of fighting HIV as made of “neoliberal ideological content, insensitivity towards national sensitivities and over-focus of certain at-risk groups such as drug addicts and LGBT people,” Kommersant reported.

The Russian model “takes into account the cultural, historical, and psychological characteristics of the Russian population, and is based on a conservative ideology and traditional values,” Guzenkova said. Study co-author Igor Beloborodov claimed that condoms were one of the factors causing the spread of the disease.

“The contraceptive industry is interested in selling their products and encouraging under-aged people to engage in sex,” he said. Beloborodov said that the best form of protection against HIV was to “be in a heterosexual family where both partners are loyal to each other.”

Russia now has about one million citizens living with HIV, with 93,000 new cases recorded in 2015. The CDC last fall reported that 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, with 50,000 new infections occurring annually.