News Release

Russia & HIV/AIDS: Stark Realities; Reason for Hope

The HIV/AIDS pandemic in Russia has reached serious proportions and is at
risk of becoming generalized. But according to a new joint Brookings-CSIS report released today, the important
work of researchers and NGOs gives reason for hope, if the Russian leadership mobilizes in time.

The report, “Russia and HIV/AIDS: Opportunities for Leadership and Cooperation,”
recommends that the Russian government:

  • Elevate HIV/AIDS as a national priority;
  • Establish a comprehensive HIV/AIDS control strategy;
  • Upgrade Russia’s public health systems, with HIV/AIDS as a critical priority;
  • Increase the space for the operation of NGOs; and
  • Improve access to effective antiretroviral treatment.

    The report, written by J. Stephen Morrison, director of the CSIS Africa Program and executive director of the
    CSIS Task Force on HIV/AIDS, and Celeste Wallander, director of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program,
    examines the findings and recommendations from a CSIS delegation that traveled to Russia in February. The
    delegation was co-chaired by CSIS President and CEO John Hamre, and Strobe Talbott, President of the
    Brookings Institution, and consisted of scholars and experts.

    The delegation met with Russian national and local officials, persons living with HIV/AIDS, U.S. officials,
    representatives of UN agencies active in HIV/AIDS in Russia, representatives of Russian and international nongovernment
    agencies (NGOs), Russian media, university officials, scholars and experts. The report makes
    recommendations in two key areas, to the Russian government and to the international community, and stresses
    the necessity of committed, high level leadership to effectively address the threat posed by HIV/AIDS.

    The report recommends that the United States, international organizations and other members of the G-8:

  • Identify how to best support capacity building in Russia and how to help sustain it;
  • Support the Russian government as it expands its leadership and financial commitments on HIV/AIDS;
  • Strengthen nongovernmental organizations, which often feel marginalized;
  • Ensure multilateral cooperation to secure the success of UNAIDS, Global Fund, and World Bank
    programs; and
  • Collaborate with Russian medical professionals to share best practices and accelerate training.

    In response to the role of the Russian administration, the report states that “If activated, the leadership can further
    enlarge the possibilities for significant achievements both in meeting Russia’s economic, health and social goals,
    and on a global plane, in promoting a healthier world.”

  • About Brookings

    The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.