Last year, more than 20,000 HIV-positive people died, according to Russia’s Health Ministry — marking a 2.2 percent uptick from 2017. Three-quarters of them were 25 to 44 years old, while “HIV infection at a young working age (18-44) is emerging as one of the leading causes of death,” exceeding even cancer, the ministry reported. With more than 1.2 million infected, Russia faces a growing crisis.
How bad can it get? The World Health Organization warns that Russia’s likely underreported epidemic could spiral out of control, while a consumer watchdog says that older people are increasingly contracting HIV.