The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Increase in infectious diseases and a risk of epidemics in Athens

27 September 2012 / 21:09:20  GRReporter
2919 reads

An increase in infectious diseases in the area of Athens, where a large number of immigrants live at close quarters has been established by a study of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings show that long forgotten diseases have returned to Greece, new ones have appeared and infectious diseases have spread so widely that there is a risk of epidemics.

This refers to HIV, hepatitis B and C, malaria, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, genital warts, and skin diseases such as scabies and incidences of lice.

"In recent years, we have observed a dramatic spread of the HIV virus," the Centre emphasizes. The analyses of epidemiologists have shown that the most common way of transmission of the infection is unprotected sexual intercourse. Young people aged between 25 and 35 years are the largest number among the infected. The percentage of men who have sex with men is particularly high - 55%. An increase in the new cases among heterosexuals has been also registered- 24.6%.
"The fact that 12.9% of carriers of the AIDS virus in Greece are immigrants is alarming. This percentage is growing steadily along with the continually rising influx of immigrants."

The data collected by the mobile laboratories of the Centre in Omonia Square, Victoria, Attiki, Karaiskaki, Ameriki, near the railway station and Votanikos show an increase in the prevalence of other sexually transmitted diseases such as genital warts, syphilis and gonorrhoea. An increase in the number of cases of infection with hepatitis B and tuberculosis has been also registered. At the same time, diseases forgotten for decades such as infantile paralysis and various parasitic diseases have reappeared.

Experts say the increase is due to the growing number of male and female prostitutes, and to the influx of undocumented foreigners in whose countries there is no immunization practice. The documents the Centre has sent to parliament state that legal female prostitutes in Greece are under 1,000 in number and almost 20,000, the majority of whom are foreigners, are illegal prostitutes.

It is believed that there are in Greece between 13,000 and 14,000 victims of human trafficking, who are prostitutes. The majority of them are citizens of Nigeria, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Albania, Moldova, Romania and Belarus.

The experts suggest that the centre of illegal prostitution is the area of ​​the historic centre of Athens, which is outlined by the streets Agiou Konstantinou, Kolonou, Piraeus, Aghion Asomaton, Ermou and Aiolou to the squares Omonia, Vathi, Karaiskaki, Agiou Pandeleimona, Victoria and Ameriki. Whole groups of women of different ages and nationalities, who are illegal prostitutes, can be found along the streets Patission, Aharnon and Drosopoulou.

"They are scattered throughout the centre. The number of girls is very high. They offer their services at very low prices. Very few of them undergo medical tests and they are fully controlled by their pimps," the report of the Centre reads.

It puts special emphasis on male prostitution, which has been "flourishing" mostly in the squares Koumoundouoru, Omonia and Victoria, in some sections of Piraeus Street and at several locations along Sygrou Avenue. Experts say some of these men are illegal immigrants who are trying to earn their livelihood.

Tags: SocietyInfectious diseasesEpidemicsAIDSHepatitisMalariaTuberculosis
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus