(commissioned by Open Society Foundation)
Video shot in Moscow by Piotr Malecki, stills by Guy Martin. Russia is home to the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic. Driven by injection drug use, it is now becoming generalized. If you are an injection drug user in Russia, you likely have HIV, hepatitis C, and more often than not, tuberculosis. Although the Russian constitution grants the right to free access to health services in government facilities, it does not provide effective care to those who have these multiple infections. And it bans opioid substitution therapy—the gold standard for opiate addiction treatment. In many ways, the story of Max, who you meet in this video, is typical of the hundreds of thousands of Russians who use drugs.