Recently, I have decided to add Greece into the list of countries that I have lost respect for due to their draconian laws and medieval attitudes about sexuality and/or HIV. The above photo is one of the Health Minister of Greece (Adonis Georgladis) who has instituted a Greece HIV testing law that takes the country back into the medieval ages. With the Greece HIV law, police are now allowed to detain anyone (even tourists!) and force them into HIV testing if the police believe the person is HIV+. You might be asking yourself...what does it matter if someone is HIV+? Well, apparently Greece (and more importantly their Health Minister) thinks that all HIV+ individuals are public health risks. Therefore, this Greece HIV testing law also urges land lords to evict HIV+ individuals in their buildings due to them being threats for HIV- residents. BULL SHIT!!! In fact it is even stated in the measure that, "(a HIV+ individual) should be evicted from their homes, without any alternative being offered". Greece, you make me sick!
So, another question to ask about this situation is what happens to individuals who are forced into testing by the police then found to be HIV+? This situation has happened in 2012 where countless individuals were forced into testing and those that were confirmed to be HIV+ had their photos and personal information thrown to the media. This is a moment that brings such sadness to me. How can a country literally throw their citizen's private information and health status out into the open knowing that there are people in the world who will then target these individuals?
As with all governmental policy, there is usually a reasoning, even thought it might be fucked up and plainly ignorant. The Greece HIV testing law comes out of the research showing that HIV infections have increased by 200% from 2011 within youth. These infections are thought to be the by product of the climbing rates of youth who are abusing drugs and unemployed (now over 20%). This information is being generated by the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention who published the fact that HIV infections among youth injecting drugs rose from 206 to 487 since 2011. This is also perfect timing for the fact that the government of Greece thought it was a great idea to cut the HIV prevention budget from 35 million Euros (2010) down to 20 million Euros (2012).
With this disgusting law in place, a humanitarian group called Doctors of the World released this statement, "The Greek Health Minister is clearly violating basic human rights and human dignity under the guise of 'protecting the community from contagious diseases'. Doctors of the World asks the Greek government to focus on the bigger public health problems, such as children’s universal right to immunization and the need for this right to be implemented, something the government is no longer able to guarantee. We also call on all health professionals to refuse to conduct mandatory testing." The citizens of Greece are clearly having their personal information and privacy violated and such information is being shared with the country should someone test positive for HIV.
With this law, and the anti-homosexuality in Russia, this world is becoming filled with more and more vile ideas and draconian attitudes. It is sad that our world, that is filled with so much joy and beauty, must constantly take giant leaps back in ethics and human rights. Shame on you Greece! You being the birthplace of ethics and great minds such as Aristotle and Plato have made a mockery of your history and intellectual past. To Adonis, you are just SCUM!