"Being in prison or other state detention is an important risk factor for HIV in Russia. A very high percentage of drug users in the FSU [former Soviet Union] find themselves in state custody at some time in their lives. Injection drug use is reportedly widespread in Russian prisons, and HIV prevention services such as provision of sterile syringes, disinfectant materials for syringes and condoms are virtually absent. Official statistics indicate that from 1996 to 2003, HIV prevalence in Russian prisons rose more than thirty-fold from less than one per 1,000 inmates to 42.1 per 1,000 inmates. According to a 2002 report, about 34,000 HIV-positive persons—over 15 percent of the persons officially counted as HIV-positive in the country—were in state custody, of which the large majority found out about their HIV status in prison. The Kresty pretrial detention facility in Saint Petersburg was reported in 2002 to have about 1,000 HIV-positive persons among its 7,800 inmates. Some 300,000 prisoners are released each year from penal institutions in Russia, representing an important public health challenge."


Human Rights Watch, "Lessons Not Learned: Human Rights Abuses and HIV/AIDS in the Russian Federation," New York, NY: April 2004, Vol. 16, No. 5.