Spreading awareness, not illness : HIV/AIDS and youth in the Russian federation
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Russia is currently experiencing one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world. Despite the growing rate of infection in the Russian Federation, little is being done by the government to slow the spread of the virus. The epidemic exploded as a result of injection drug use however now includes non-at-risk populations, generalizing to spread via heterosexual contact. Since the government is unwilling to implement harm-reduction programs such as needle exchange or methadone replacement therapies in Russia, there is a need for education and outreach to facilitate slowing the spread of HIV. Methods of outreach need to be implemented as soon as possible to reach young Russians before they engage in risk behaviors. Due to centrally consolidated media and conservative controls placed on the press, messages must reach Russia vis-à-vis the Internet. In support of this, the millennial generation of Russia is not only politically active, they utilize the Internet to educate themselves about controversial and taboo issues.