From a global perspective, infection rates of the HI virus
have been stagnant since the mid-90s. But there are several exceptions: While in Western Europe rates are at least stable, Eastern Europe and especially Russia are struggling with an epidemic.
In almost no other region of the world are infection rates so rampant as in Russia. Whilst worldwide condoms, drug substitution programs and awareness raising campaigns are proven to be sufficient methods of fighting HIV, Russia officially promotes love, loyalty and Christian orthodox attitudes to morality to be suitable weapons against the spread of the deadly virus.
Furthermore, Russia’s attitude to drug therapy comes as a special handicap in fighting HIV. It resembles the only country in which drug substitution programs are axiomatically rejected, ramping up the STD prevalence amongst heroin users. NGOs which are trying to fight the epidemic through conventional matters with help of international donations, are rather villainized as foreign agents than being supported by the state.