HIV cases falling but experts remain on alert


The number of HIV infections in Greece appears to be on the way down after a spike earlier in the country’s economic crisis.

From the start of the year to the end of October, 492 new cases were recorded at the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), according to data presented ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1. This means that the amount of infections is on course to be lower than in 2016, when a total of 639 cases were identified. A year earlier, in 2015, the number was at 769, while in 2013 it reached 890.

The peak, though, was in 2011 and 2012, when more than 1,000 people were infected by HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Experts, however, caution that the numbers may not tell the full story because there is a shortage of the reagents used to carry out HIV-related tests.

“We have become magicians over the last 1.5 years,” said Marios Lazanas, president of the Hellenic Association for the Study and Control of AIDS. “Fortunately, we are good magicians because there are excellent medicines that are keeping virus levels low.”