MOSCOW -- The number of HIV/AIDS patients in Russia has increased at an average rate of about 10 percent in recent years, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
Vadim Pokrovsky, the director of the Moscow Center to Fight Against AIDS, told RFE/RL that this rate has been recorded by health officials over the last several years.
He said about 60,000 new HIV/AIDS patients were registered in Russia this year.
The total number of registered HIV/AIDS patients in the country is 505,000.
Pokrovsky said he estimates that the same number of HIV/AIDS patients exist but have not been officially registered.
He added that the main way the disease is spread is through sexual contact, a change from several years ago when the disease was mainly spread through the shared usage of disposable syringes by drug addicts.
December 1 is the United Nations' World AIDS Day.