Russia’s aversion to harm reduction as a strategy to combat drug addiction has led to an HIV epidemic. In Yekaterinburg — the fourth largest city in Russia with a population of 1.5 million people — one in 50 are HIV positive. In Russia, addiction is considered a “moral sickness” and methadone is illegal — “a despised ‘narcoliberal’ idea.” The country has gone so far as to assert that drug addiction and homosexuality are notions imported from the West in a bid to corrupt ‘Russia’s “conservative ideology and traditional values.”’ For those who are suffering, the prospects are grim.
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