Sharp drop in HIV linked to drug programs

A downward trend in the rate of HIV infections in Greece appears to be continuing, particularly among drug users, according to data released on Tuesday by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) ahead of a conference on AIDS starting on Friday in Athens.

In the first 10 months of this year, 84 people tested HIV positive compared to 239 in the same period last year and 514 in 2012, at the peak of Greece’s crisis, when an HIV epidemic spiraled out of control.

The sharp decline in infections is largely attributed to state-backed initiatives providing addicts with clean needles.

Infection rates have also dropped overall, with 5.9 HIV infections per 100,000 people recorded this year compared to 7. 2 infections per 100,000 people in 2013. This year, 654 people tested HIV positive from January through October – 563 men and 91 women.

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