University of Pittsburgh
June 6, 2005

Pitt to Address the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Eastern Russia

International workshop to be held in light of the disturbing health crisis
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Although the HIV/AIDS epidemics in the United States, Western Europe, and even Africa have received a great deal of publicity during the last two decades, the one currently ravaging the Russian Federation—the most rapidly developing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world—has not received the same attention. Since its beginning in the mid- to late-1990s, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Siberian region of the Russian Federation has exploded, fuelled in large part by rampant injection drug use and the disruption in health services that resulted from the collapse of the local Soviet-era economies.

Pitt will be holding an international workshop, called "HIV/AIDS East of the Urals: A Global Academic Partnership Workshop." The free public workshop will be held June 13 in A115 Crabtree Hall, 130 DeSoto St., Oakland, and June 14 in 2500 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland. The workshop begins each day at 8:30 a.m. and is sponsored by the Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES) within Pitt's University Center for International Studies, the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), and Magee Womencare International.

Workshop organizers are Robert Hayden, professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences and director of REES; Richard Day, assistant professor of biostatics in GSPH; and Linda Frank, assistant professor of infectious diseases and microbiology in GSPH. In February, they were awarded a Global Academic Partnership grant, sponsored by Pitt's Office of the Provost and UCIS, to convene the international workshop.

The interdisciplinary Pitt team will collaborate with six Russian scientists and clinicians concerned with controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS in the eastern Siberian region of the Russian Federation. Panelists will explore the current and projected future of HIV/AIDS east of the Ural Mountains and discuss current public health and policy approaches for preventing the spread of the virus as well as for making treatments available in these urban Russian areas.

For more information on the workshop, call 412-624-4077 or visit