Although communicable diseases account for a smaller number of deaths in developed countries, they still result in substantial losses. In Russia, infectious diseases cause just 2% of deaths, but those who die are primarily young citizens of working age. The intensive migration of the population and developed tourism exacerbate this problem. As a result, new infections are appearing and old ones are making a return in new forms that are resistant to known drugs. According to WHOs global plan for 2030, it is essential to end the AIDS epidemic, eliminate the hepatitis virus, and significantly reduce tuberculosis infection and mortality rates. In order to meet these challenges, it is vital to continuously monitor the situation, to intensively develop scientific research, and to put in place developed infrastructure and qualified staff, together with powerful prevention programmes and affordable drugs. How can the targets in WHOs global plan be met in Russia? What problems must be overcome with respect to organizing the work of an infection control service and providing it with resources? Are there any new vaccines and drugs that could in principle have an impact on reducing mortality and illness caused by infectious diseases? How can hospital-acquired infections best be fought?