As WHO corrects error, HIV cases falling this year

The number of new HIV cases recorded in Greece this year is set to be lower than last year, according to figures provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), which said that it notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about a mistake in one of its reports that suggested half of new HIV infections in Greece were self-inflicted in order to claim benefits.

KEELPNO said that 792 new cases of HIV had been reported during the first 10 months of the year, against 1,058 cases during the same period in 2012. Last year was the first time that drug users made up the majority of those who contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. They were 47.8 percent of the total cases, whereas homosexual and bisexual men accounted for 32.5 percent of infections.

So far this year, drug addicts have fallen to 29 percent of total cases reported, while gay and bisexual men continue to make up 32.5 percent of cases.

The state-run center also said in a statement that it had pointed out to the WHO the mistake in the Geneva-based organization’s European Region Report regarding how HIV cases in Greece are contracted. The WHO blamed an “editing error” for the mistaken claim.

“The sentence should read: ‘Half of the new HIV cases are self-injecting and out of them few are deliberately inflicting the virus,’” said the WHO.

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