Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WHO False Claim of Greeks Giving Themselves HIV/AIDS Goes Viral

by Matina Stevis

Wall Street Journal

November 26, 2013

Are you sitting down for this?
Rush Limbaugh, the conservative U.S. radio host asked his listeners Monday.
If you want to know what the welfare state does to people… Half of new HIV infections in Greece between 2009 and 2011 are estimated to have been self-inflicted to secure €700 per month in benefits. It may seem completely insane, but [that is] according to a study by the World Health Organization –that’s the UN, and they’re never wrong.
Not quite.

Measuring the fallout of the euro crisis for the most vulnerable of citizens is a major scientific undertaking – and that’s why, when the World Health Organization released a report on the matter, people paid attention.

The report contained a case study on Greece and HIV/AIDS infections (p. 112) which claimed that “about half” of new HIV infections were self-inflicted. Here’s the excerpt:
HIV rates and heroin use have risen significantly, with about half of new HIV infections being self-inflicted to enable people to receive benefits of €700 per month and faster admission on to drug-substitution programs.
WHO cited no one in making this claim, and offered no additional data to back it up.


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