WHO: Sorry for claiming HIV cases were deliberate

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization has apologized for a 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 report published by 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.

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

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

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

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