On January 14, a senior health official in Russia said the number of HIV cases in Russia had increased by 3,000 in the month of December 2007, reports Russian news agency Interfax (interfax.com, 1/14).

“As of December 31, Russia had 408,535 HIV-infected citizens,” said Gennady Onishchenko, chief public health official and director of the Federal Consumer Rights and Human Well-Being Service. The number of reported cases in the country stood at about 405,000 on December 1, 2007.

According to Onishchenko, discrimination against people living with HIV is a big problem in Russia. About 3,000 people living with the virus refused to continue their HIV therapy last year for a variety of reasons, he said.