CITY OF MEXICO.
There are many myths surrounding this condition.
One out of every three people living with HIV in Latin America does not know it, especially because of the stigma attached to this disease because there is no culture of prevention, said Carlos Magis, of the Mexican National Center for HIV / AIDS prevention and control (Censida)
"There is still a delay in diagnosis despite the fact that today someone who is diagnosed and treated on time has a high life expectancy," said Magis, director of comprehensive care for Censida.
The doctor explained that with current treatment the life expectancy was 40 years for people infected with this virus.
Brenda Crabtree Ramírez, local president of the International AIDS Society (AIDS), shows that violence, stigma and inequality for access to prevention and information have become the most important obstacles to overcome.
"It is a fact that as long as we do not fight this, the AIDS epidemic cannot be attacked effectively," he said.
Experts say that among the people who have the lowest detection are men and elderly heterosexuals.
"Especially in this last group, they are slow to see that they are at risk because there is a big stigma about this disease," said Juan Sierra, head of the infectology department at Salvador Zubirán's Mexican Institute of Medicine and Nutrition.
In Mexico, according to Censida data, only more than 141,000 people currently receive retroviral treatment and since 1996 the mortality rate has declined, although there are still 5,000 annual deaths from this disease.
"With the care we offer at the Ministry of Health, patients get better and 51% of those diagnosed and treated have reduced viral load at six months," Magis said.
He added that one of the disadvantages of the region was that pharmaceutical tests were not yet available to residents, which in countries like the United States were available to anyone who wanted to get a quick test.
He added that lowering treatment costs would be very helpful in countries like Mexico, where spending on HIV treatment took up a third of the Seguro Popular disaster expenditure.
"Public policy must be aimed at increasing access to treatment and one option is to reduce costs, make purchases of medicines consolidated and allow more drugs to reach Mexico," he said.
He explained that in regions such as Africa, the cost of treatment was $ 100 per year, thanks to the fact that the therapy was based on generic retroviral; while in Mexico it costs up to $ 2,000 because it is based on patent medicines.
Sierra said that HIV patients in Mexico, in addition to stigma and discrimination, must face an inhospitable health system to follow up on care.
"Unfortunately we have a fragmented health system and it is not very useful for people who have diseases that have to be treated for life, sometimes institutions are a barrier to the continuity needed in HIV treatment," he said.
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