HIV rises in Greece
Officials in Greece are planning to hand out condoms and syringes as the country experiences a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infections.
The distribution of 30,000 condoms comes following reports from Greece’s top health watch dog which found cases of new HIV infections rose by 52.7 per cent in the general population since 2010.
New cases of HIV infections in the general population have been attributed to the increase levels of prostitution in the country particularly amongst undocumented migrants.
The head of Medecins sans Frontieres Greece Reveka Papadopoulos said the health services in Greece were under severe strain following drastic budget cuts which included job losses and a 40 per cent reduction in hospital funding.
“What we are seeing are very clear indicators of a system that cannot cope,” she said.
'”We are also seeing transmission between mother and child for the first time in Greece. This is something we are used to seeing in sub-Saharan Africa, not Europe.
“There has also been a sharp increase in cases of tuberculosis in the immigrant population, cases of Nile fever - leading to 35 deaths in 2010 - and the reappearance of endemic malaria in several parts of Greece, notably the south.”
Reports have also found a 1250 per cent increase of HIV infections in 2011 amongst intravenous drug users since the scrapping of needle exchange programs.
The warnings of the increase of diseases in Greece come as the IMF approves its $35 billion share of Greece’s latest bailout.