The Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has recently announced that the number of HIV infections in 2013 fell for the first time since the financial crisis hit Greece.
According to KEELPNO’s annual report, published earlier today, the number of new infections nationwide was reduced to 920 last year from 1,188 in 2012. This was the first time since 2010, when a spike was signaled, especially amongst drug users, and was finally accomplished as a result of more targeted prevention strategies.
The country has struggled to maintain its support on various public health sections amid spending cuts imposed due to austerity measures of the successive bailout programs that were first signed in 2010, when the number of new infections reported was just 610.
As the annual report revealed, the highest number of new infections in 2013 was detected among gay men, followed by drug addicts.
KEELPNO President Prof. J. Kremastinou underlined that “any effort to reverse the HIV epidemic in the population of IDUs in our country faces significant challenges, especially under the current economic restraints, which threaten the sustainability of HIV prevention and treatment programs. Taking into consideration the situation of the HIV epidemic, public health surveillance and sustained prevention interventions are of crucial importance.”
The report presented an overview of the HIV/AIDS situation in Greece, based on case reports submitted to KEELPNO during 2013. The report is published on an annual basis, as part of KEELPNO’s mandate to collect and analyze data since the 90s.