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Uzbekistan: Is Tashkent Cooking Its HIV/AIDS Statistics?

<p>EurasiaNet Correspondents</p>

January 2, 2013

TASHKENT, Jan 2 2013 (EurasiaNet) - 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.

At a late-November speech to mark World AIDS Day, the director of Uzbekistan’s National AIDS Centre, Nurmat Atabekov, said Tashkent is making progress in its fight against HIV/AIDS and that the number of new infections in the country is falling, local media reported.

In 2011, Atabekov said, Uzbekistan saw an 11-percent decline in the number of new infections compared with the previous year; that followed a 5.5 percent decline in 2010. This year, the country should see another drop. The total number of infected people continues to rise – to 24,539 as of Nov. 1 – but the number of new infections per year peaked in 2009, he said.

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