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In the beginning of next year Russian scientists will test an anti-AIDS vaccine
In the beginning of next year Russian scientists will test an anti-AIDS vaccine, head of the Russian Anti-AIDS Center Vadim Pokrovsky, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Tuesday. He spoke at a press conference in Moscow at the extended session of the coordinating council to prevent mother-to-child passing of HIV. "Not one of the approaches has yet yielded results but work is still under way: nobody is disappointed," Vadim Pokrovsky said. One of the Russian vaccines is about to be permitted for the first stage of tests on healthy volunteers, he said. "It is premature to say it will be a success. Several years will pass before we can say whether the vaccine will have positive or negative effects," he noted. According to Vadim Pokrovsky, about 40,000 AIDS cases have been registered in Russia in 2004. "The situation is worsening. A third of the HIV cases total are women. The AIDS growth tendency is that the number of HIV-infected women is getting close to that of men," Pokrovsky said. In Russia the HIV infection is registered in mostly large cities like St.Petersburg, Ulyanovsk (Volga region), Novosibirsk (Siberia). The HIV numbers are about 290,000, including over 10,000 children, 7,000 of which are below one year of age. The Health Protection and Social Development Ministry says that 4,598 HIV cases, 252 children among them, have died over the last twelve months. The ministry expects the number of children born of HIV mothers to increase to 10,000-15,000 by 2005-2007, its representatives told journalists. Most of the HIV cases (70 to 80 percent) are young people aged from 15 to 30 years, including women of productive age 32 to 34 percent, which exacerbates the problem of mother-to-child HIV passing, the ministry notes.
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