European Financial Crisis: Greeks Infecting Themselves With HIV To Get Government Benefits

The European financial crisis has yielded another frightening unexpected result. The World Health Organization has issued a report called “Review of Social Determinants and the Health Divide in the WHO European Region” which shows that there is a trend in Greece where citizens are infecting themselves with HIV in order to gain access to 700 Euros a month in governmental assistance.

The report goes on to state that Greece has been decimated by a 27% unemployment rate and EU mandated financial austerity measures. The unemployment rate in Greece has reached 27% a full five years after the Greek economy took a nosedive due to the global financial collapse. Greece is in danger of being released entirely from the Eurozone.

The report also goes on to say that HIV rates in Greece have seen a significant uptick, and more than half of those infected are believed to be the result of self inflicted infection. The Greek government still has a robust social safety net which gives more than 700 Euros a month to those with HIV and grants fast track admission to drug substitution programs.

From 2007-2009 Greece experienced a 17% rise in suicides and beginning in 2010 that number increased to 25%. By 2011 suicide attempts were up a full 40% and have yet to drop. Homicide and theft rates have more than doubled since the financial crisis started and arrests for prostitution have also significantly increased.

The WHO says healthcare access in Greece has declined due to a 40 percent cut in hospital budgets. Approximately 26,000 health workers – including 9,100 doctors – may lose their positions.

Greece is not the only country struggling with a crippling unemployment rate, Spain is also holding steady at 26% and Portugal also has a 16% rate.

Do you think the European Financial Crisis is going to get worse before it gets better?