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HIV and AIDS are spreading rapidly in Russia due to the increase of intravenous drug use. Some people who use drugs share needles with others. Alexei uses drugs sometimes because it makes him forget his problems. He didn't realize that one of his friends has HIV, shared needles with him and became infected himself.

When a person becomes infected with the HIV virus, he or she may not know it right away. If the person then has unsafe sex with a partner, the partner might become infected. Alexei's girlfriend tested HIV positive last week. She doesn't use drugs and has asked Alexei to stop using them. Now they are both infected with the HIV virus.

What is safe sex? Safe sex is using a condom every time you have sex, using it from the beginning to the end. If you have oral sex, use a condom, too, or a barrier such as plastic wrap for oral sex with a woman.

Q1: Why are HIV cases increasing in Russia?

Q2: Where does Alexei live?

Q3: How did Alexei become infected with HIV?

Q4: Who did Alexei infect?

Q5: During sex, what can you use that will prevent HIV infection?

** What advice can you give people who share needles for drug use? ** What advice can you give to partners of drug users?

This page found at: http://www.japanetwork.org/students/people/alexei.html

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