Allegedly intentional AIDS infection investigated in Far East

In Russia's Far East hundreds of men are being tested for HIV/AIDS. A criminal investigation is underway into allegations that a teenage girl has been intentionally infecting men.

The male population of the remote Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky have lined up at hospitals and clinics to have their blood samples taken for HIV/AIDS. The local police have so far identified only four persons who were sexually involved with the 17-year-old girl. They say the total number has yet to be established.

Purposeful HIV infection is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of up to eight years in jail. But if found guilty, the girl could get away with a suspended sentence because of her age.

Her name has not been revealed and only few details of the case have been leaked to the press.

“We are investigating what seems to be a case of purposeful AIDS infection. The suspect is a 17 year-old girl. Despite being aware of her diagnosis she has had sex with a number of men,” said Evgeny Kurdenkov, Deputy police chief.

Though cases of purposeful infection in Russia are extremely rare, HIV/AIDS is becoming an increasing problem. With 370 thousand registered cases in 2006, the HIV/AIDS incidence is growing rapidly. According to the US National Intelligence Council, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Russia may reach between four and eight MLN by 2010.