Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Credit Yannis Behrakis / Reuters/Landov
Vicky, a 40-year-old, Canadian-born, Greek drug addict, takes a drop of her own blood from a syringe as she prepares to inject herself with a mix of cocaine and heroin on a central Athens side street, April 30.
One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.
The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.
For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.
The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.