Greece: Self Injecting Or Self Infecting?
Author: M. G.
Wednesday 27th of November 2013 03:56:01 PM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is experiencing a small drama with Greece because of misunderstandings regarding a recently published HIV report. The report, prepared by the University College London's Institute of Health Equity, said: "HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug substitution programmes." Damn, this would be terrible news, but luckily the data that were reported are completely wrong. However, the news obviously spread internationally in a short time and it became a big case so the WHO was forced in recant the original statement and admit that there was "an error in the editing of the document". Quite embarrassing.

By the way, the actual situation in Greece is still worrying. Half of the new HIV cases happen because of self-injecting drugs, even if steps to lower this kind of transmission were already taken since the beginning of the epidemic. In the rest of the Mediterranean areas, drug injection is not as worrying as before but this is not true in Greece. It seems that the situation is worsening instead of improving and the economical crisis plays a big role with its unexpected consequences. In fact what the WHO reported was just partially wrong, since it's still true that there are a few cases where people decide to deliberately infect themselves with HIV to get money. This is just tragic and even if the number is lower than what was initially said, this is something that everybody should be aware of.


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