Russia at a Glance
•Per capita income: $18,330
•Life expectancy at birth women/men: 75/63 yrs
•Infant mortality rate: 8.1/1000 live births
The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe has increased more than any regional epidemic since 2001, and Russia’s epidemic is the largest in the region with more than 900,000 persons estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS.Russia faces a tobacco epidemic due to widespread smoking. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) was conducted in 2009 as a household survey of persons 15 years of age and older by the Statistics of Russia under the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) and the Pulmonary Research Institute (PRI), under the coordination of the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation (MoHSD). GATS found that nearly 43.9 million of the nation’s adults are smokers; 60.2% of men and 21.7% of women smoke. The mortality rate is going DOWN!!!
Don’t Drink the Tap Water in St. Petersburg
Avoid drinking the tap water in St. Petersburg – while the water leaving purification plants is fine, the aging water-pipe system can let the purified water become contaminated with dirty city ground water. People have become sick with the water-borne disease Giardia after drinking St. Petersburg’s tap water in the past. In most places, water comes out of the taps in every color of the rainbow and with a decidedly “swampy” smell. Best to skip it in all but the most upmarket hotels where serious additional filters are installed.Crosswalks are only respected sometimes. Be careful crossing streets. SO TRUE!!!!
Organized criminal groups remain active throughout Russia, especially in large cities. Credit card fraud is one type of activity. Extortion and corruption are common business practices, including among foreign businesses. Criminals demand protection money under threat of serious violence. Report extortion attempts to Russian authorities. YES, the Russian mafia is alive and well!I must comment on the smoking here, both men and women, young and old. When I asked my new Russian friends about it, they told me that smoking is just cheap entertainment. A pack cost only about a dollar US. Add to that their lack of sanitation, and it is not a good combination.The diet is bad, very high in carbs and fat. Foreigners tend to drink juice and water.
The locals drink beer, vodka, and fruity sodas. The piroshkis are good, but quite greasy. This time of year, fresh fruit and vegetables are all imported. Locals feel that more resources should go to the health of the country rather than things like the Sochi Olympics. I did not see any gyms or health clubs. Draw your own conclusions with the data.