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HIV Infection Rate in Russia Has Grown 7% This Year

The HIV infection rate in Russia has grown 7 percent this year, with an average infection rate of 35.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to state statistics.

The infection rate is more than one per 1,000 people in several regions in the Ural Mountains and Siberia, including Kemerovo, Sverdlovsk, Tomsk and Novosibirsk.

Drug addicts sharing needles remained the primary cause of infection, accounting for 58 percent of all new cases. Heterosexual contact followed with 40 percent.

The statistics were reported by the Federal Consumer Protection Service, which also monitors health and sanitation issues throughout the country.

The agency did not release the total number of HIV-positive Russians. The state-run Federal AIDS Center put that statistic at 730,000 in November 2012, the latest available.

Russia's population is estimated at 143 million.

About 54,600 new infection cases were diagnosed in the country in the first nine months of this year, according to the consumer rights agency.

The report, published Friday, was removed from the agency's website over the weekend, but a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed its accuracy Monday.

She said the report was pulled off for an update, expected on Dec. 1, which is World AIDS Day.

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