A Survey of Russian Doctors on HIV/AIDS
January 1, 2006
Russian doctors are on the front line of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in their country, where the epidemic has surged in recent years. As those responsible for diagnosing, treating, and counseling patients with HIV and AIDS, they have unique insight into the trajectory of the epidemic, the adequacy of current government policies designed to fight HIV/AIDS, unmet needs, and priorities. Their views -- about the effectiveness of antiretroviral medications ARVs) and other treatments, about whether all HIV and AIDS patients are equally deserving of treatment, and about the importance of confidentiality versus disclosure of HIV diagnoses -- affect the quality of care that Russians with HIV and AIDS receive. Doctors’ perceptions of the personal risks they may face as a result of treating HIV infected patients can also influence their conduct.
This survey, to our knowledge the first of its kind, provides an unprecedented picture of doctors’ attitudes regarding four broad topics: 1) the extent, relative importance, and meaning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; 2) issues related to treatment, supply needs, and physician safety; 3) the relationship between doctor and HIV infected patients; and 4) possible courses of action. In this preliminary report, we present the main findings with respect to each of these broad themes.