VIH : la politique de l’autruche de l’Europe de l’Est

CARDIFF, CALIFORNIE – La Russie et l’Ukraine abritent près de 90 pour cent du million et demi de personnes qui seraient infectées par le VIH en Europe centrale et de l’Est. Lors d’une récente visite dans ces pays, et malgré des demandes réitérées, je n’ai pu rencontrer aucun politicien ou responsable de la santé publique. Aucun n’a donné suite aux appels téléphoniques, aux fax ou aux courriels que je leur ai envoyé à mon retour aux Etats-Unis.

Le VIH se répand de manière épidémique dans ces deux pays en raison de l’injection de drogues par des toxicomanes qui partagent les mêmes seringues, le moyen le plus sûr de transmettre le virus. Il existe pourtant des méthodes éprouvées pour ralentir la propagation du VIH par les toxicomanes.

Dans le cas de toxicomanes qui s’injectent de l’héroïne ou d’autres substances opiacées – le cas le plus courant en Europe de l’Est – mettre sur pied des traitements de substitution, par la méthadone ou le buprénorphine, peut très nettement ralentir la transmission du VIH. La réussite de tels programmes implique également de donner aux toxicomanes un accès à du matériel d’injection dans des centres d’échanges bien placés, à la fois pour qu’ils disposent d’aiguilles et de seringues propres et pour les intégrer dans les systèmes de soins de santé. Enfin, les toxicomanes doivent pouvoir bénéficier d’informations et de conseils.

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