At a Moscow AIDS conference on May 3, UNAIDS chief Peter Piot said Russia should build on its progress combating HIV/AIDS by offering more help for injection-drug users in the country, Reuters reports (, 5/3).

The article notes that the economic downturn following the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse claimed millions of jobs, turning many people toward drug use. Yet Russia has resisted funding methadone-substitution clinics and needle exchanges.

“If you don’t supply clean needles, if you don’t supply methadone, you can’t control the epidemic,” Piot said.