Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Health organizations are concerned about the continually growing number of HIV cases in Playa del Carmen.
According to Asociación Civil Vida Positiva, they have recorded an increase of 0.5 percent in HIV cases in Playa del Carmen from last year to the first quarter of this year. Reasons for the increase, they say, range from the decrease in condom use to fear of discrimination and ignorance toward prevention.
“The main cause of progress is because people trust. They do not use a condom because they have confidence in their current partner but forget that they have a sexual past and therefore, may already be affected without presenting symptoms, which can take up to 10 years,” said Rudolf Geers, president of Asociación Civil Vida Positiva.
Geers explained that among the general population, the use of condoms consistently in all sexual relationships is low since it is considered a contraceptive and not used in casual relationships despite both parties having multiple sexual partners in any given year.
He said that the segment of greatest affectation are men who have sex with other men, noting a history of a decline in condom use of 20 percent since 2014.
Geers stresses the importance that the general population be aware of the paradigm shift that is taking place regarding HIV. He explained that a person with HIV can have a normal life by accessing free antiretroviral treatment through IMSS, Issste and even through Seguro Popular.
“The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS has reported that people with HIV who take their antiretroviral treatment effectively and in whom the virus is suppressed to undetectable levels, are no longer infectious for an HIV negative couple.
“For this reason, it is important to detect cases, channel them to treatment and maintain adherence to it,” Greers noted.
The division of Preventive Medicine by the Integral Development of the Family in Solidaridad said that they maintain a permanent campaign in schools to provide an adequate sexual education that teaches kids about preventing risk situations that contribute to the increase of HIV cases.