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Greece: Gay rights campaigners appalled as health minister sanctions forced HIV tests

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  1. This is disgusting.

    As a member of the EU, I can;t see how Greece can possibly do this as it surely this would be a violation of human rights laws?

    I wonder how long it will be before Brussels steps in?

    1. D, Greece has been ignoring many EU directives ever since it joined the EU. It has taken the subsidies and the loans but it has refused to follow all EU rules. Brussels has turned a blind eye because, to put it simply, everyone wants “the cradle of civilization” to be in the club.

    2. Greece has been ignoring many EU directives ever since it joined the EU. It has taken the subsidies and the loans but it has refused to follow all EU rules. Brussels has turned a blind eye because, to put it simply, everyone wants “the cradle of civilization” to be in the club.

  2. I don’t trust this guy, he has a bit of a Nick Griffin look about him.

  3. Pavlos Prince of Greece 2 Jul 2013, 4:57pm

    Not big deal, at least for me as a HIV positive person here in Greece since years. Because most and only important thing in my personal situation was: possible quickly test (in 2005) and therapy. My test was voluntary, but if forced test can save more lives, well, its absolutely rightful, I think.

    1. nixiotemba 2 Jul 2013, 5:05pm

      not when its just used to brand women as prostitutes, it not, thats fascist Golden dawn tactics

    2. What about the article beyond just the headline?

      “Seventeen, who were found to be HIV positive, had their names, personal details and photographs published in the media, on the grounds of protecting public health.
      Despite no evidence of them being involved with sex work, they were branded “prostitutes” and accused of being “health bombs”.
      They were detained in custody for several months.”

      I doubt your HIV test resulted in undue and biased media attention, and you being detained by the authorities.

      1. Pavlos Prince of Greece 2 Jul 2013, 5:57pm

        Whom cares what can happen with his “personal information”, when he or she faces the death – or already is ? Only what maters in situation like this: be a live and became medical help at the right time.

        1. GulliverUK 2 Jul 2013, 6:03pm

          But people do live for decades now with the right medication, and particularly if they start treatment early. And your personal circumstances are not public property – everyone has a right to privacy. That is in the convention to which Greece is a signatory, and in which case they’ve probably broken their legal obligations, because unless they can prove these individuals were a threat to public safety (which they couldn’t) then they are acting without legal authority.

          1. I agree with you on this one Gulliver…I am not sure who is more surprised by this…you or me.

            I gave you a thumbs up…hope you are having a good one.

        2. Ok Pavlos lets publish your name and photograph in the newspapers under the headline, “Pavlos King of Sluts, HIV positive rent boy and public health bomb”

    3. Pavlos, it is one thing to test for HIV (willingly or otherwise) it is another to be able to get appropriate, timely treatment – given that Greece is under the kosh with austerity measures how long will it be before they will be rationing treatment for those newly diagnosed? That will drive a horse & cart through their public health measures when they cannot afford to provide treatment for all who need it, thus helping reduce forward transmission.

      You may find that there is not sufficient money to keep you well monitored with regular blood tests & the current treatment you are receiving may be changed in order to save money, so I would suggest you take a long hard look at the situation before you say “I’m alright Jack”.

    4. Pavlos, I think you need to put yourself in the shoes of those who will be forced to undergo HIV tests by the police and try to imagine what that will feel like, and what the effects of such behaviour will be.

  4. Jock S. Trap 2 Jul 2013, 5:03pm

    This is absolutely appalling.

    This style of policy is nasty and extremely dangerous and surely against EU law. It must be dealt with and stopped.

    No good can come from this ridiculous law.

  5. GulliverUK 2 Jul 2013, 5:57pm

    No problem with that … as long as all government ministers and MPs, and the President, get to have televised forced HIV tests first.

    If you’re going to make a law then have the integrity to show others than you will abide by it first.

    I suspect it’s illegal anyway, and the Council of Europe should castigate them.

  6. And they expect us to go there as tourists……….????

    THEY MUST BE JOKING!!

    1. Don’t you ever come, we don’t need you…at least not us, the common citizens…I know several cases when your people get insanely drunk at bars and pee on the streets…so spare us, do this at England…

      1. Hi Marilena,
        As an insider, could you comment in this health minister policy?

        1. The reason for which tourists should avoid Greece is that we live in a modern fascist country in fear of our government and the police with everyone losing their jobs and homes in one of the ugliest countries in EU (we’ve been turning the landscapes in wastelands for years now).

          As for the new minister, he is a conservative uneducated fascist who’s been selling books on the TV praising greek-orthodox religion and ancient greece with a passionate hate for anything LGBT. And now they made him to everyone’s surprise health minister giving him liberties to shut down as many public hospitals as possible and be a good scapegoat for the public outrage that will follow. It’s the perfect government’s plan to reduce public health care costs from hospitals.

          1. You’ve state the truth, Rena. I know the Greek situation well. Thank you.

          2. Personally I can’t wait to leave Greece, never to return.

      2. I don’t know why seven people have voted marilena down. I used to live in Chester certain parts of the city smell so strongly of urine they make you gag. My friend used to have to wash his front step every Sunday morning because it was covered in pi$$ and vomit.

        I have every sympathy with people who live in popular English tourist destinations, which certain sections of our society frequent.

        1. Christopher in Canada 3 Jul 2013, 1:05pm

          Build more public washrooms.

          And bring back public water fountains.

      3. Respect gay people, Marilena, or be decent enough to stop asking for loans from openly gay ministers across Eurozone, married with men. There are quite enough. This happens, you know, where the values of freedom and equality are high.
        A Greek com-patriot!

  7. Little by little, the far right is taking over in Greece, with the blessing of the church and support of many citizens – it’s no accident that Golden Dawn continues to gain strength in polls and in the government. Those Greek LGBTs who dare to be out can suffer badly at the hands of fellow Greeks, who are too often quick to stigmatize and condemn. Eastern Orthodoxy has dirty hands in these matters, and the political support for Western European style change is very, very small.

  8. Personally I am all for a bit of Greek lovin’…Talk about trying to rewrite ancient history…He probably saw the movie “300″ and thinks the Spartans were all raging heterosexuals.

    Greece is looking more and more like Germany in the 1930s.

  9. This is totally disgraceful & does nothing to help reduce HIV rates in Greece – all it does is to reinforce stereo-types & stigma, that will only lead to a bigger problem in the longer term.

    Given that Greece has seen a 200% increase in new HIV infection rates since prevention spending has been cut with austerity measures, I think this sort of knee jerk reaction is totally counter-productive.

    This is a total violation of human rights in my view & I hope it is challenged & overturned ASAP.

    1. GulliverUK 2 Jul 2013, 8:48pm

      What’s the situation in the UK tho? Hasn’t HIV funding been cut by this government also.

      The problem will never be solved if we don’t spend what is required.

      1. On prevention there are funding cuts, & with the change to Local Authority commissioning HIV / Sexual Health prevention at the moment the transition spending is very patchy – the Pan London HIV prevention Program has taken a big hit. In reality the money spent on prevention has historically been a very small fraction of what is spent on HIV treatment -forward investment is required to reduce cost later on down the line.

        In terms of treatment & care here in the UK there is no extra funding available in terms of the drugs bill, so efficiency savings are being made, clinic visits extended from 3 to 6 months, more nurse led clinics – I see my HIV Consultant once a year, the standard say 3 yrs back would be every 4 months. Some of this is good news for “stable patients” & those who are able to take control of their treatment & care, for others particularly complex HIV cases this can be a real problem & is causing a great deal of anxiety.

        Lots of change to HIV services coming down the line

      2. If we had coupled cuts with a comprehensive and mandatory sex education syllabus across the board at all state funded schools, this would have been less of a blow to prevention.

        We’ve already budgeted for schooling so it would not have been to much of a hard sell to those concerned with deficit reduction.

  10. Target, blame, vilify – Right out of Goebbels’ handbook. Rise of extreme right politics a potential consequence of austerity?

    1. It’s not a potential consequence it’s a definite cause and effect. People move to the right in times of austerity, they look for minority groups to irrationally blame.

      1. This has nothing to do with the “right” – it was introduced by the Socialist (Pasok) health minister. Also, none of you know what it’s about – it has NOTHING TO DO WITH GAY MEN.

        If you are outraged at the treatment of female sex workers in Greece, that’s a different matter. But, there were many cases of female prostitutes working in brothels who were HIV. Help the women and go for the pimps and clients, I say. But, again, this is not about forcing gay men to take HIV tests and was not passed by the “right”. Pink News really must get its act together and not just copy crap without fact-checking.

        1. “A Greek”, you seem to be under the impression that PinkNews is a website for gay men only and that therefore the article is irrelevant to the situation of gay men in Greece.

          Firstly, please know PinkNews is not just about gay men.

          Secondly, please know that whatever oppresses your brother, your sister, your transexual friend, and so on, also oppresses YOU.

          BE CONCERNED.

        2. As a matter of fact, the restoring of provision 39a of the health code is meant to give the police another tool to use against Greek LGBTs, particularly those who stand-out in defiance of Orthodoxy rules of “decorum”, and apparently and shockingly has the so-called added benefit of reducing health care costs in cash-strapped Greece, as it discourages the early detection and treatment of hiv in the LGBT population. Greece is a shame-based society, which through a collusion of the government and the Orthodox religion has successfully blunted the introduction of Western European reforms aimed at giving LGBTs full equality.

  11. JackAlison 3 Jul 2013, 3:56am

    like Russia Greece has a strong EXTREMELY conservative orthodox church that stands behind all this fear

  12. If it wasn’t for the left opposition you lot like to vilify we may be in a similar position during thatchers govt. The tories didn’t change they just said what they had to to get elected

  13. This country is a banana republic in every sense of the term, and it’s not about to change quickly.

    However, on the bright side, this year’s Athens Pride was the biggest ever.

    So while many consent to the actions of ignorant bigots like Georgiadis, and he’s pretty much the standard in government here, there are others who are taking this social upheaval as an opportunity to change things for the better. Especially the young, who are hardest hit right now.

    As for Europe/EU doing something, the money is at the top of the list, everything else is ignored and this is a problem ‘for the future to handle’.

  14. This man has overtly expressed racist and homophobic speech in many occasions the past few years. Spain had Franco. What has gone so wrong in Greece?
    Sex workers are to be forced to AIDS tests. Is public health protected by this or by attention to control trafficking, which is running fine? Best on EU? Is there any kind of sex eduvation at school??? NOOOOOOO
    Dimitris, a 42 yo gay doctor.

  15. Unacceptable! he must be taken to court. this is a human right violation and deformation of people characters. The Hague please do something

  16. The United Nations launched its first gay and lesbian rights campaign yesterday.
    The likes of Adonis and other wankers will apologies soon.
    He does not represent Hellenic values at all….visit Greece… its lovely and very gay!!

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