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The Body Economic by Sanjay Basu, David Stuckler

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5

GREEK TRAGEDY

A handsome former Air Force officer in his fifties, Andreas Loverdos was looking for prostitutes—but not for himself.

On the morning of May 1, 2012, Loverdos, a medical doctor and the Greek Minister for Health, joined a squad of officers from the Greek Police Enforcement and Justice Department on the streets of Athens’ downtown Omonia neighborhood. Ten days before a very tense Greek general election, Loverdos had decided to take action.

In April 2012, the Greek government had passed a law allowing Loverdos’s Health Department to test anyone for sexually transmitted diseases—with or without their consent. The new law came in response to STD reports from hospitals and clinics all over Greece. New cases of HIV infection had jumped ...

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