Russian activists imprisoned for asking for treatment – letters of support requested

Dear friends,

We ask for your support to FrontAIDS activists in Russia who today are holding their fourth (this time unsanctioned) public action to protest government inaction and demand HIV treatment for those in need.

Unsanctioned action that is taking place near the RF Ministry of Health in Moscow leads to activists being arrested.

Now those arrested are taken to the Tverskaja police station of Moscow (Dmitrovskaja 28).

Most of the activists are PLWHA, and incarceration in Russian jails or prisons may cause significant damage to their health. Your letters to Russian authorities and embassies in your countries could help to release FrontAIDS movement members and to move the government from unkept promises to immediate action.

FrontAIDS is Russian movement which unites organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS, activists from AIDS-service organizations and other people who care about HIV/AIDS in the country. We fight for access to ARV therapy and quality and non-discriminative services for HIV-positive people in Russia. More information (in Russian) may be found online:

Front AIDS web site:

The estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is more than one million, but treatment is available for less than 5% of those in need. The fact that ARV treatment eligibility criteria include “social aptitude” tests shows the continuing discrimination against PLWHA, especially drug users who comprise the vast majority of HIV-positive people in the country.

This is not the first time that FrontAIDS activists have tried to draw the attention of the Russian authorities to these problems. Though there was significant media coverage and international support for our actions in Kaliningrad, Moscow and St. Petersburg, they did not result in any new commitment from the governmental authorities of any level.

Generic HIV medications are not registered, national production of ARVs has not been initiated, astronomical prices for treatment ensure that it is inaccessible for PLWHA in need, and opiate substitution treatment for people with histories of drug dependency is prohibited.

If possible, please send copies of the letters of support by e-mail to Dasha Ocheret

Contact details of Russian embassies:

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.