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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
EUROPE: HIV Infection Risk Rises as Austerity Bites - EU
Axel Bugge
November 21, 2011
Reuters (11.15.11) - Monday, November 21, 2011

Austerity measures taken in response to Europe's economic crisis may hinder health services and cause an increase in injection drug use-related HIV infections, the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction said in a new study. Greece recorded a large HIV outbreak among IDUs in July, and increases in new infections have been noted in Bulgaria, Estonia, and Lithuania, EMCDDA said in its annual report. Use of cocaine may have peaked as users struggle to pay for it; both drug purity and the volume of cocaine seized were down from 2006 levels. "Across Europe drug services are under pressure, and HIV prevention is not always given the policy priority it once had," said Wolfgang Gotz, EMCDDA's director. "In some [EU] member states, we are witnessing an exceptional set of circumstances that create a perfect storm for causing the rapid spread of drug-related HIV infections within vulnerable communities." To view the report, visit: