Could the 2010 HIV outbreak in Athens, Greece have been prevented? A mathematical modeling study


In 2009 and 2010, Athens, Greece experienced a hepatitis C virus (HCV) and a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) outbreak among People Who Inject Drugs (PWID), respectively. The HCV outbreak was not detected, while that of HIV was identified in 2011. The integrated HIV-interventions, launched in early 2012, managed to reduce directly the HIV incidence and indirectly the HCV incidence. This study aims to assess what would have been the course of the HIV outbreak and its associated economic consequences if the 2009 HCV outbreak had been detected and integrated interventions had been initiated 1- or 2-years earlier.


The model was calibrated to reproduce the observed HIV epidemiological and clinical parameters among PWID of Athens, Greece. We examined the effect of the 1- or 2-years earlier detection scenarios, the 1-year later detection, the non-detection scenario, and compared them to the status quo scenario.


Cumulative HIV cases, under the status-quo scenario during 2009‐2019, were 1360 (90% Credible intervals: 290, 2470). If the HCV outbreak had been detected 1- or 2- years earlier, with immediate initiation of integrated interventions, 740 and 1110 HIV cases could be averted by 2019, respectively. Regarding the costs, if there was an efficient notification system to detect the HCV outbreak 1 or 2 years earlier, 35.2–53.2 million euros could be saved compared to the status quo by 2019.


If the HCV outbreak had been detected and promptly addressed, the HIV outbreak would have been prevented and 35.2–53.2 million euros could have been saved.

Auteur(s) : Gountas, I, & al.