Assessing the secular trends in the transmission of HIV in Greece

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Objective:To evaluate the current trends in HIV transmission in Greece.Methods:A retrospective study of HIV infected individuals reported to the Hellenic Center for Infectious Diseases Control (HCIDC) was conducted.Results:Since the beginning of the epidemic in Greece and until early 1990s most cases concerned men who have sex with men (MSM). After the mid-1990s the proportion of homosexual males among HIV positive individuals decreased slightly, then was stabilised but they still remain the dominant population among HIV positive people. On the other hand, heterosexual transmission increased steadily and has become a frequent route for the spread of HIV/AIDS in recent years. Individuals originating from or travelling to countries where this mode of transmission prevails were the most frequent cases in this category. A significant proportion of cases classified as “undetermined” were also recorded and were partially attributed to the increased heterosexual transmission among people (especially women) without obvious high risk behaviours.Conclusions:The HIV/AIDS surveillance system must evolve in order to find the new unreported risk information and identify the population groups at higher risk. This will help to implement preventive policies and information campaigns addressed to target populations with special attention paid to immigrants, women, and marginalised communities.

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