Drug use and HIV/AIDS: risk envrionments in Post-Soviet Russia

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This chapter explores the links between drug use and HIV/AIDS in post-socialist Russia, investigating the connection between drug use, especially Injecting Drug Use (IDU), and HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). It considers drug use both in terms of IDU as a direct means of transmission for the HIV virus and non-IDU (including alcohol and marijuana), which has been observed to contribute to risk behaviors, which can lead to transmission of the HIV virus. Russia and other post-socialist states are unusual in the context of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic in the relative importance of IDU as a means of transmission of the virus within their territories, and also in their stance toward harm reduction programs such as needle exchange. The chapter draws upon a wide range of literatures, including sociological literatures dealing with substance abuse in general and in Russia in particular; geographical and area study literatures with a focus on the Russian Federation; research publications on HIV/AIDS in Russia from the epidemiological and public health literatures, as well as policy-oriented and practitioner-focused materials produced by non-government organizations, international donors (e.g., UNAIDS) and policy research institutions.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeography and drug addiction
EditorsYonette Thomas, Douglas Richardson, Ivan Cheung
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

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