Saturday marks World AIDS Day which aims to promote awareness of the disease and mourn those who have died from it. The event came into existence in 1988 and it has been widely observed by health officials, governments and non-governmental organizations since then.
One aspect of HIV which needs to be highlighted more frequently is its growing infection rate across Eastern Europe and Russia in particular. According to new data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation, there were 71 new HIV diagnoses per 100,000 people in Russia last year. Ukraine came a distant second with 37 while third-placed Belarus had 26. The lowest rates of new diagnoses per 100,000 people were recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina (0.3), Slovakia (1.3) and Slovenia (1.9).