Yucatan, third place in the country for HIV cases

(Photo: cosmoplug.com)

Until November 11, 289 cases of AIDS were confirmed in the state, in 2018, to the same period, the number was 227, while HIV registered 414 cases compared to 281 last year.

MERIDA, YUCATAN (Times Media Mexico).- Epidemiological surveillance figures of HIV/AIDS cases in Mexico reveal that the Peninsula leads the country in terms of case rate, and Yucatan ranks third in the country in new cases of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), with a rate of 12.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the National Registry of AIDS Cases, as of November 11, 2019, Campeche ranked first, with a rate of 17.2, and Quintana Roo registered 15.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The epidemiological bulletin of the Ministry of Health indicates that this year 289 cases of AIDS have been confirmed in Yucatan (263 men and 26 women). The report states that as of November 16 , there were 414 HIV cases (376 men and 38 women).

Last year, at the same period, the record of AIDS cases was 227, and HIV 281. This way, HIV shows an increase of  47.33 percent, and  AIDS shows an increase of 27.31 percent.

Ever since epidemiological surveillance began in the Yucatan in 1984, until 2019, a total of 5,530 people have been registered with AIDS (4,705 men and 825 women); and 3,668 people have been registered as HIV-positive (3,097 men and 571 women).

“With 7.5 percent of the 207,000 cases registered to date in the country, Yucatan ranks third nationally in reported cases of HIV. This indicates that there is greater detection in key populations, which are young people between 15 and 29 years of age and adults between 30 and 45 years of age,” said Carlos Cabrera May, executive director of the BAI Foundation (Brazos Abiertos Internacional) in the state.

Regarding the reasons for the increase in transmission, he said one is that many young people are at risk due to their sexual behaviors, and practice unprotected sex.

“Condoms are free and can be obtained at Health Centers, with us at the BAI Foundation, at the Ministry of Health, IMSS or Issste. It is important to use them,” he said.

He mentioned that the key to the epidemic in Yucatan is the lack of prevention with a protective barrier method, “if we empower ourselves as a society that sees the use of condoms as a standard, we will avoid male chauvinist behaviors by preventing HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs),” said the doctor, who made specialization stays in HIV/AIDS in the United States.

He explained that another alternative to prevent HIV transmission is the PrEP pill. If taken daily and marketed under the name Truvada, it reduces the chances of contracting the virus that causes AIDS through sexual intercourse by more than 90 percent and by 70 percent through the use of non-sterile needles or needles used by multiple people.

“Now there is the generic PrEP, which is called Movitrem at a more affordable price 1,500 pesos for a box with 30 tablets (Truvada costs about nine thousand pesos). The generic price is still somewhat expensive, but it is much more affordable,” he said.

As for the supply of medicines for HIV patients, Carlos Cabrera said that in Yucatan this year there were no problems, such as in Tamaulipas and Oaxaca.

Cabrera May recalled that HIV is a chronic infection that is controlled with one tablet a day in most cases, and it is also necessary for patients to know their viral load status, so that the virus can be undetectable.

“They must also have good nutrition, exercise and sleep for at least eight hours. People living with HIV can lead a good quality of life. People who are undetectable are no longer transmitters. It means that if they had sex there would be no risk of transmission of the virus, because their viral load is very low and under control,” Carlos Cabrera May concluded.

The Yucatan Times
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