'Greeks self-inject HIV to claim benefits'

The WHO says HIV rates have risen ‘significantly’ in the debt-ridden country.

The World Health Organisation says people are injecting themselves with HIV to claim hundreds of euros in benefits.

JOHANNESBURG - The World Health Organisation (WHO) says an increasing number of Greeks are injecting themselves with HIV to claim hundreds of euros in benefits.

The WHO, which investigated the impact of the economic downturn on countries across Europe, says HIV rates have risen 'significantly' in the debt-ridden country.

HIV/Aids statistics have soared, seeing rates of the virus rising to more than 200% since 2011.

It says about half of new HIV infections are self-inflicted, allowing people to receive benefits of €700 per month as well as faster admission onto drug rehabilitation programmes.

Last year, Health Minister Adonis Georgladis passed the Public Health Decree 39A, a 2012 measure that allowed police to arrest people suspected of being HIV positive, mostly women, and force them to be tested.

The measure also urged landlords to evict tenants who were found to be HIV-positive and seen as a public health threat.