Compared to the countries of Europe and Central Asia, Ukraine remains one of the leaders by rates of the HIV-infection spread. Professor Lars O. Kallings, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Assistant UN Secretary-General, claimed this at a press conference in Kyiv today.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, he presented the new AIDS Epidemic Update of 2006 and highlight the special attention given to Ukraine by the United Nations in response to AIDS.

According to the information of the new AIDS Epidemic Update, 90% of all cases of people falling ill with HIV in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia fall on Russia and Ukraine.

Beginning since 2000, the number of HIV diagnoses in Ukraine doubled. In particular, in 2005, 13 thousand 786 new cases were registered. According to the information of the Health Ministry of Ukraine, the total of HIV-positive people in the country makes 97 thousand people. This figure includes only those infected, who underwent testing in state medical institutions. The real number of people, living with HIV, made up 250-680 thousand people, according to assessments of specialists, as of the end of 2005.

According to the information of the press conference, the main risk factor of falling ill with HIV is the use of infected syringes by drug addicts. According to the Ukrainian Health Ministry, more than 45% of new HIV infections, registered in the first half of the year 2006, fell on drug addicts.