Russian official says AIDS funding inadequate
Russia's government has budgeted only $800,000 for AIDS treatment programs in 2003, enough to treat only about 1,000 of the country's estimated 1 million HIV-positive people, The New York Times reports. Vadim Pokrovsky, head of Russia's Center for AIDS Prevention, said on Tuesday that the small amount of government funding is "ridiculous" and that a "huge infusion" of funding is needed to help contain the spread of the disease. He said that in several of the nation's major cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, the HIV incidence level is already over 1% and climbing. "These levels are higher than in both the United States and Europe--we overtook them long ago and are now catching up with Africa," Pokrovsky said.