ATHENS -- Drug experts and policy makers from around Europe are gathering in Athens to urge their governments to exclude drug treatment from economic austerity programs, citing an alarming rise in HIV infections among drug users in Greece.
The number of reported new infections among drug users in Greece shot up from 22 in 2010 to 245 in 2011, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Experts blame the rise on a number of factors, several related to Greece's major financial crisis.
The visiting experts on Monday visited a newly opened supervised drug-taking room set up in central Athens. The declaration to European governments was to be formally made Tuesday.