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Russia's HIV/AIDS Cases Rise 10 Percent A Year

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.