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Access to AIDS Treatment in Russian Prisons

The Moscow Times offers an important and timely article today about the difficult access to AIDS treatment for prisoners held in state custody. The article notes that according to Russian law, a person diagnosed with serious health problems should not be kept in pre-trial detention, which is exactly what is being done to Vasily Alexanyan – constituting perhaps the first case in history of AIDS treatment being used as political coercive weapon to force false testimony against Yukos and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Some facts from the article: Number of inmates in Russian prisons and jails with tuberculosis: 43,000 Number of inmates in Russian prisons and jails with AIDS/HIV: 42,000 Increase since 2004: 10,000 Number of 3,500 AIDS patients held in Leningrad receiving treatment: 100