The continuing scandal of illegal prostitutes testing positive for HIV has resulted in a slew of men coming forward for testing. It has now been revealed that five men have thus far contracted the virus from unprotected sex with prostitutes.
Following the revelations that 25 illegal prostitutes have so far tested positive for HIV, at least 6,000 men have contacted the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO).
Keep Talking Greece reported that Greek caretaker health minister Andreas Loverdos announced five men have tested positive for HIV at KEELPNO centers. Results of the thousands tested at private clinics have not been revealed.
It has also been revealed that up to 90 percent of the men who paid extra to engage in unprotected sex, were Greeks. Most of the infected prostitutes were drug addicts, many trafficked from Eastern Europe.
The prostitutes involved have been arrested and charged with inflicting gross bodily harm, and their names and photographs have been published in the Greek press. In spite of Louverdos saying that "seeking unprotected sex at illegal brothels should be categorized as a felony" the men who visited the brothels or made use of street prostitutes have yet to be named and shamed, even though they too pose a public health risk.
The minister has accused the men who paid for unprotected sex of being guilty of gross negligence, saying “It would be shortsighted, unfair and incompatible with our culture not to see the responsibility of the guy with the money who’s paying.”
Some have accused the health ministry of exploiting the issue as a political tool in the midst of elections. When the crisis first broke in the media the then citizen protection minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis, defended the prosecutors decision to publish names and photographs of the prostitutes, saying "On the one hand, there is the right to privacy of the prostitutes but, on the other, the superior right of public health protection.”
By the same token it is only logical that the names and photographs of the men involved should be made public.