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Russians Rally for Scarce HIV Drugs

Russians Rally for Scarce HIV Drugs

People with HIV are rallying across Russia as the supply of treatment drugs is reaching a staggeringly low level.

Since the end of October, more than a dozen events, including a flash mob in St. Petersburg, have been staged to bring attention to the declining supply of drugs, according to The St. Petersburg Times.

Maria Alexeyeva, a media officer with the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, said that while HIV-positive Russians are supposed to be receiving free medication, the supply has become irregular.

“In some regions doctors simply tell the patients to go and earn money for the treatment, as there is no more than a remote chance of them getting the drugs from the state with much regularity,” she told the Times.

In St. Petersburg, which has approximately 43,000 residents living with HIV (at least 2.5 times more people with the virus than the national average), the antiretroviral drug Zidovudine has been unavailable to patients since July.

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