WHO apologises for claiming half of Greek HIV infections are self-inflicted

WHO blames ‘gross editing error’ for report claiming half of new cases are acquired deliberately by people trying to claim benefits
Associated Press

theguardian.com, Tuesday 26 November 2013 09.53 EST

A drug user gives blood sample for a HIV test

A drug user gives a blood sample for a HIV test inside a clinic in Athens: in a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said its report should have read that ‘few’ new cases of HIV were deliberate. Photograph: Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters

The World Health Organisation has apologised and blamed an “editing error” for claiming in a September report that half of the new HIV cases in Greece were acquired deliberately by people trying to claim government benefits.

In a correction issued on Tuesday, the WHO said the report should have read that “few” new cases of HIV are deliberate.

“This was just a gross editing error for which the WHO apologises,” said a WHO spokesman, Gregory Härtl.

In the report published by the WHO’s European office, the agency wrote that “about half of new HIV infections are being self-inflicted”.

WHO said it only became aware of the mistake on Tuesday after journalists asked about the claim.

Since the financial crisis first hit Greece several years ago, rates of HIV infection have soared.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/26/who-apologises-hiv-infections-greece-self-inflicted



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