Uzbekistan is facing a public health time bomb, experts are warning. Authorities contend they are making gains in the battle to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS, but independent specialists say such claims are built on twisted figures and deceptive methodology.
Seven-year-old Azamat is playing with his siblings at home in a village in southern Kazakhstan, tumbling around on the sofa and giggling. His parents would have found it hard to picture the scene six years ago, when they first learned that their son was HIV-positive.
This summer, Vitaly Korolkov, 38, was homeless, HIV-positive, and a recovering heroin addict. He began methadone treatment the last time he got out of prison, three years ago, because, as he put it, “I just want to live, don’t know how much time I have left.”
Turkmenistan is courting a public health calamity because officials are systematically denying an HIV infection problem, experts say.
Foreign and local HIV experts and medical workers assert authorities are deliberately manipulating infection statistics, as well as preventing the registration of new cases. As a result, some doctors fear an imminent epidemic.
The U.S. plans to expand security cooperation with Central Asia, U.S. diplomats say, according to The Bug Pit blog last week. That means they will increase the capacity of the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), the system to deliver non-lethal military cargo for U.S. and NATO forces through Central Asia to Afghanistan. The U.S.