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Russian Patriarch Condemns 'Immoral' Anti-AIDS Programs


http://gdb.rferl.org/F8F76942-499B-4ECA-9284-5552C053779F_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/F8F76942-499B-4ECA-9284-5552C053779F_mw800_mh600.jpg Aleksy II, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (file photo) (epa) April 20, 2006 -- The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Aleksy II, today criticized Western-funded programs aimed at combatting HIV and AIDS, calling them immoral and inconsistent with Russian culture.


In a letter to President Vladimir Putin, Aleksy wrote that Western nongovernmental organizations are running their programs in the interests of Western producers of contraceptives.


The letter comes on the eve of a meeting of Russian regional leaders devoted to AIDS. Some 355,000 Russians are officially registered as HIV-positive, but the real figure may well be higher.


(AP)

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