Unlike most countries, Russia’s HIV epidemic is growing, with the rate of new infections rising by between 10 and 15% each year. It is estimated that over 250 people become infected with HIV every day.
Although West and Central Africa’s HIV epidemic is generalised, meaning it affects the population as a whole, HIV prevalence among sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men is significantly higher than prevalence among the general population.
Homophobia and the ‘machismo’ (strong/aggressive masculinity) culture are common throughout the region and sex between men is highly stigmatised. As a result, large numbers of men who have sex with men do not identify as homosexual (or bisexual) and have sex with women as well as men, forming a 'bridge' population.