By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The Federal government of Russia has launched a federal registry of people infected with HIV. A fire storm of concern was immediately voiced worldwide because what people are wondering about the most about this story is, what will federal government of Russia will do with such information on its citizens.

According to insiders at the Ministry of Healthcare (Minzdrav), officials say that the only reason for the registry is to streamline treatment for HIV-positive people.

The TASS Russian News Agency first broke this story on January 1, 2017:

“The Federal Register of HIV patients, set to be launched in Russia’s regions on January 1, will help provide patients with medicine, Health Ministry Spokesman Oleg Salagai told TASS.

“Any individual diagnosed with HIV should be interested in being included in this register since he or she will receive medicine on this basis,” said Salagai.

In fact, the Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, said..”Creating the registry for HIV postiive individuals would streamline allocation of diagnostic and medical resources as well as standardize statistics so that unified data could be provided to international organizations.”

“The first and most important task is to assess and collect full information on how many HIV patients we have, what treatment plans have been arranged for them, what medicines have been prescribed to them,” said Deputy Health Minister Sergei Krayevoi.

The Ministry of Healthcare states that a total of 824,000 HIV individual patients have been already registered in Russia and that the average therapy coverage is currently 40%.

According to Krayevoi, inclusion in the registry is strictly voluntary. He states that any attempts to force a patient to register is not true and he totally rejects it.