Friday, February 9, 2018

Is Trump's neglect of HIV/AIDs an imitation of Russia's?

Late last year Dan Harris, for ABC's Nightline, went to Russia to report, over two nights, the state of that country under Putin. On night two, Harris reported the shocking neglect of Russian authorities in the face of that country's exploding AIDS epidemic and official harassment of Russians trying to stem that tide. From the report, which starts at 2:17 in the video here:

Siberia, home to some of this country's poorest people:
     Here... we're about to see one of the darkest manifestations of the Putin presidency, the grim reality of perhaps the worst AIDS crisis in the developed world.
     ...The AIDS epidemic [fueled largely by heroin addiction] is growing at a frightening speed in Russia, left unchecked for too long, critics say, because Putin, who has wrapped himself in the aura of the Orthodox Church, has resisted addressing these issues. ...Putin's government has damaged efforts to address this crisis. While they do promote monogomy as a fix, they've rejected proven approaches  such as needle exchanges and free condoms, as "Western practices.
     ...In Russia AIDS volunteers face government harrassment and have been classified by Putin's government as foreign agents — in other words, spies.

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