In September 2013, the World Health Organization, published a report claiming that in Greece, 50% of all new HIV cases are self-inflicted by people who want to receive the benefit of 700 euros. The report has been quoted by several media reports world-wide. However, on Tuesday, WHO published an official statement saying that this report was erroneous.
According to WHO’s official statement, “In September 2013, the WHO Regional Office for Europe published a report “Review of social determinants and the health divided in the WHO European Region” which was prepared by the Institute of Equity, University College London and the United Kingdom. In this report, the following erroneous reference is made: “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 euros per month and faster admission on to drug substitution programs.”
WHO apologized, saying that the statement was an error in the editing of the document. “The sentence should read: ‘half of the new HIV cases are self-injecting and out of them, few are deliberately inflicting the virus.” says WHO.
The organization adds that in Greece, there is a 52% increase of new HIV cases in 2011, compared to 2010, because of infections between people who inject drugs.