Russia and the eleven former Soviet republics which make up the Commonwealth of Independent States are collectively home to some of the fastest-spreading HIV epidemics in the world. Although the disease still mainly affects vulnerable populations such as injection drug users, commercial sex workers and men who have sex with men, there are worrisome signs that HIV is spreading outside the high-risk groups.
Moscow, the center of political and cultural life for much of the region, has been the primary hub of research for the Center.
More than 80 percent of registered HIV infections in the region are among people under 30. The majority of these cases are in Russia and Ukraine, and account for approximately 90 percent of all people living with HIV in the region. However, HIV numbers are rising in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova and Tajikistan; and for some, it may be a result of their geographic proximity to Afghanistan—the world’s leading exporter of heroin.
Injection drug use is responsible for about 80 percent of the HIV cases in Kazakhstan, although there has been a recent rise in heterosexual transmission of HIV.
Current projects include the Renaissance and Marketplace Studies in Kazakhstan and Advocating for HIV Services for MSM in Russia.