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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
RUSSIA: US First Lady Laura Bush Visits Russian Orphanage for
Paul Burkhardt
July 17, 2006
Associated Press (07.14.06) - Monday, July 17, 2006

In St. Petersburg Friday, Laura Bush visited the Federal Pediatrics AIDS Center where pregnant HIV-positive women and AIDS orphans ages 1-8 receive treatment and housing. AIDS is among agenda items being discussed at the G-8 summit now being held in the city. The "center of excellence" Mrs. Bush visited is where health workers from other regions in Russia are trained in AIDS care. Mrs. Bush told doctors she hopes for "a whole generation HIV-free as well as be able to treat children so they can live a normal life. We also need to reduce the stigma associated with HIV." The center's children are receiving proper care, but "for the last 20 years, there's been no change in the attitudes towards these children," said Dr. Yevgeny Voronin, the center's chief physician. Many parents in Russia abandon HIV-positive children due to economic and societal pressures. "Part of the problem. is that a lot of mothers are not tested and so they don't know during their pregnancy to start on the antiretroviral treatment, and they deliver babies with HIV," said Mrs. Bush. "I think we should have an international day of testing here and around the world."