Athens: increase “unprecedented” in HIV (Ministry)

Against the backdrop of major economic crisis, the Greek capital is facing an unprecedented spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which occurs mainly among drug users, reported the Greek Ministry of Health on Saturday.

“Since the beginning of 2011, Greece has an unprecedented spread of HIV among people who use drugs intravenously. In central Athens, the incidence of AIDS increased from 1.500% at the end of in 2011. in previous years, the rate of HIV infection in Athens was very low, 10 to 15 cases per year, “we read in a press release issued by the Department.

The Department estimates that the current situation was caused by the health policy of recent years, mentioning in particular the insufficient distribution of clean needles to addicts. Meanwhile, the ministry said that the government ordered to close specialized medical centers to house drug users, who are now treated in ordinary hospitals. However, this measure has increased the number of addicts receiving medical care.

The Department further states that prostitutes and drug addicts with HIV are at particular risk in this area because they can transmit the virus to many people. Last week, the Greek police have arrested 17 prostitutes with HIV infection that could spread the virus to their customers.

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