Preliminary data from the Hellenic National Public Health Organization for 2023 reveals a modest increase in HIV infection, in contrast with the downward trend of the previous four years. This insight comes just before today’s World AIDS Day.
Despite a consistent reduction in diagnosed HIV cases since 2018, the data collected until October 31 of this year indicates a total of 531 cases, equivalent to 5.1 infections per 100,000 of the population. Among these cases, 78.3 percent were men, and 21.7 percent were women. Of the new diagnoses, 37.3 percent had an unspecified mode of transmission, while sexual contact, particularly among men, constituted 35.2 percent of new diagnoses.
Regulatory Measures for 2023
In a proactive move to enhance epidemiological surveillance, the Ministry of Health issued a Joint Ministerial Decision introducing the ‘National HIV Registry.’ This decision allows individuals diagnosed with HIV to receive electronic prescriptions for antiretroviral drugs, laboratory tests for the quantitative determination of HIV-1 RNA, and other monitoring examinations. Previously registered cases from the inception of epidemiological research in Greece (1980s) until April 4 have been incorporated in the National HIV Registry’s database.
Additionally, the ministerial decision includes the implementation of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) prescriptions—a highly effective preventive medicine for those at risk of getting HIV.
World AIDS Day Initiatives
The Hellenic Society for the Study and Control of AIDS is hosting its annual conference from December 1-3 at the Royal Olympic Hotel. The conference aims to raise awareness, inform, and educate healthcare professionals and the general public on issues related to the prevention, timely diagnosis, and management of HIV infection.
In observance of World AIDS Day, the Sexual Health Center of the Hellenic National Public Health Organization will open its doors to the public without the need for appointments on December 1, extending operating hours until 5:00pm. Services offered include free, anonymous, and confidential rapid tests for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea, along with counseling and medical guidance on sexual health issues. This initiative reflects a commitment to community health and emphasizes the importance of accessible testing and support services in the fight against HIV/AIDS.