Migration and HIV epidemic in Greece
AuthorNikolopoulos, Georgios K.
SourceEuropean journal of public health
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Background: Over the last decade, Greece has experienced a massive influx of migrants from countries in South Eastern/Central Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. This study aimed to estimate the percentage and the specific characteristics of HIV-positive migrants reported in Greece, and to describe the secular trend of migrants' proportion among HIV-infected individuals. Methods: Secondary analysis of data reported to the Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control (HCIDC) during the years 1989-2003. Results: From 1989 to 2003, 6292 HIV-positive cases were reported to HCIDC. Data show that 749 people (439 males, 303 females) originated from countries other than Greece. Most HIV-positive migrants come from Sub-Saharan Africa (32.44%) and nearly 20% from Central and Eastern Europe. In the Greek population, men who have sex with men (MSM) constitute 50.47% of cases, while 16.15% are heterosexuals. The epidemic profile follows a different pattern among migrants (P < 0.05). Heterosexual transmission accounts for 41.52% of HIV-positive reported migrants, while 19.09% are MSM. An 11% increase for each subsequent year in the rate of HIV-positive migrants reported in Greece has been estimated using a Poisson regression model fitted to the data (IR 1.11; 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.13). Conclusions: The results suggest an increasing trend of HIV-seropositive migrants in Greece during recent years. Group-based interventions, better access to health care and a comprehensive public approach should be applied to migrants. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.