Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

International News
Greece Arrests 17 HIV-Positive Women Following Brothel Crackdown

May 3, 2012

Greek authorities are cracking down on unlicensed brothels, where prostitutes who are working illegally likely are not undergoing mandated HIV tests.

Prostitution is legal in Greece, and brothels are licensed by the government. Officials believe a rise in HIV cases in the country may be due to illegal prostitution and an increase in injecting drug use.

In recent days, medical tests on more than 100 prostitutes conducted by Greece's Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified 17 HIV-positive cases. Hundreds more women will be screened during the coming weeks. Health officials are ramping up testing of prostitutes working in central Athens, home to more than 300 brothels currently operating without a license.

Thousands of Greek men have placed panicked calls to health centers after the names and photos of 12 of the 17 women -- who hail from Greece, Russia, and Bulgaria -- were published on the Greek police's website. Human rights advocates have slammed the decision to identify the women, noting it is unclear whether the prostitutes were aware they are HIV-positive.

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said that following Sunday's elections, he plans to call on the next government to criminalize unprotected sex at brothels. He compared the situation to a "time bomb, and one that hits the whole of Greek society since many of these men have wives and families."

Back to other news for May 2012

Excerpted from:
Deutsche Presse-Agentur

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.