Debate Sparks as Greek Police Publishes Name & Photo of Russian HIV+ Prostitute

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A couple of days ago Greek police arrested during a health control at an Athens brothel, a prostitute who was found to be HIV positive. Yesterday, the police published her name and her picture in order to inform her customers about her disease. The 22-year-old woman from Russia is in custody and is prosecuted for “indented serious physical harm” among other charges. In a statement, the Greek “Centre for Disease Control and Prevention”(KEELPNO) is urging now the prostitute’s customers to undergo an AIDS test. 

“Citizens who had unprotected sexual intercourse at the brothel located in Acharnon & Fokaias 22B streets in Athens in the last 6 months should contact AIDS-Helpline 210-72 22 222 or KEELPNO 210 521 20 54 or turn to hospitals. ”

Strong Reactions

Publishing the woman’s name, date of birth, several pictures and medical records sparked a debatte -at least on internet- as to whether it has been ethical from the side of the police to publish private data. “Greek police violated EU law by publishing the woman’s medical record” say the majority of the critis.

Lawyer Vasilis Sotirakopoulos criticised Greek police and KEELPNO on his website, arguing that the police broke the medical confidentiality and that the state apparently assumed that the woman’s customer did not use condoms.

“The police is equipped with the prosecutor’s order, but after she was arrested, that is she found in the hands of the State which acquired full ability to protect society from this, there is no longer the “claim of the State” and necessitates the disclosure of all her private data. What are “the minor”, the “weak or vulnerable population groups” that are needed to be protected so that the medical confidentiality of the woman is broken?

It is no coincidence that the disclosure is accompanied by encouragement to her customers to be tested for HIV / AIDS, given the data KEELPNO etc. That is, the Greek Republic recognizes as obvious that some customers may have not complied with the minimum conditions of protection [condoms] and it chooses to sacrifice the medical record and private data of the accused, publicly exposing her at the most humiliating way and crushing every sense of human dignity. (Sotirakopoulos)”

Critics -on Twitter- lash out at the Greek police for publishing her woman’s medical record. Some even go so far to claim that if the woman was Greek, her pictures wound not have been published. Others argue that the picture of the brother owner should be published as well as the picture of a retired colonel arrested for possessing ch** p*********** material.

“Name and Shame” for alleged reasons of citizen’s protections or just injustified public exposure and humiliation?   “Protection of private data” vs “Protection of public health”?

 What do you think?

UPDATE: Meanwhile ANT1 reported that more than 600 mainly young men have called KEELPNO sayging that they were customers of the woman and that they used no protection. Three of the men would undergo treatment. ANT1 reported also that the woman had her HIV test that testified his disease in Russia.