La política del avestruz de Europa del Este sobre el VIH

CARDIFF, CALIFORNIA - Rusia y Ucrania representan aproximadamente el 90% de los 1,5 millones de personas que, se estima, están infectadas con el VIH en Europa Central y del Este. En un reciente viaje a estos países, y a pesar de las reiteradas peticiones, ningún político o funcionario de salud pública estuvo dispuesto a reunirse conmigo ni devolvió las llamadas telefónicas, faxes o correos electrónicos que envié tras regresar a casa.

Ambos países tienen epidemias impulsadas por usuarios de drogas inyectables (UDI) que comparten agujas y jeringas, la forma más eficaz de transmitir el VIH. Sin embargo, existen métodos probados para reducir la propagación del VIH por parte de los UDI.

Si los UDI se inyectan heroína u opiáceos relacionados - como es principalmente el caso en el este de Europa - el establecimiento de programas de sustitución de opiáceos con metadona o bupenorfina puede reducir notablemente transmisión del VIH. El éxito de estos programas también depende de la creación de centros de intercambio de agujas y jeringas en lugares convenientes, tanto para proporcionar utensilios limpios como para atraer a los usuarios al sistema de salud. Como tercera pata del taburete, los UDI precisan de consejería de salud.

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