Angelos Tzortzinis, a Greek photographer for NYT takes a walk in crisis-stricken Greece to illustrate with his camera the worrying rise in prostitutes, new street drugs and HIV incidences in central Athens.
Tzortzinis noted, “With the country heading into the fifth year of economic depression, and unemployment near 60 percent for young people, greater numbers of women and men are offering their bodies for next to nothing to get any scrap of money. According to the National Center for Social Research, the number of people selling sex has surged 150 percent in the last two years.”
Tzortzinis also referred to a new type of drug that is becoming more and more popular with drug addicts. It is called shisha, after the Turkish water pipe, and is brewed from barbiturates and other ingredients including alcohol, chlorine and even battery acid.
Shisha is most often smoked, but more and more drug addicts are taking it intravenously, a fact that increases the danger of HIV. HIV cases around Greece rose by almost 50 percent in 2012 compared to 2011 as more people turn to narcotics.
For Tzortzinis, who grew up in central Athens, seeing women give themselves for as little as 5 euros underscores one of the many horrors of Greece’s drawn-out crisis.“These women need help,” he said. “But they cannot help themselves. Nobody is helping them.”
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