There are many myths surrounding the condition.
One in three people living with HIV in Latin America do not know it, mainly because of the stigma associated with this disease, since there is no culture of prevention, said Carlos Magis of the National Center of Mexico for the prevention and control of the disease. HIV / AIDS (Censida)
"There is still a delay in diagnosis, despite the fact that today a person diagnosed and treated in a timely manner has a high life expectancy," said Magis, Censida's director of integral care.
The doctor explained that with the current treatments, the life expectancy is 40 years in people infected with this virus.
Brenda Crabtree Ramirez, local president of the International AIDS Society, stressed that violence, stigma and unequal access to prevention and information have become the most important obstacles to overcome.
"It's a fact that as long as we do not fight against it, the AIDS epidemic can not be effectively attacked," he said.
Experts said that among the people with the least detection are mostly heterosexual men and elderly people.
"Especially in this last group, they are slow to realize that they are at risk because there is a great stigma about this disease," said Juan Sierra, head of the infectious disease department at the Mexican Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán.
In Mexico, according to data from Censida, just over 141,000 people are currently receiving retroviral treatment and since 1996, mortality has decreased, although there are still 5,000 annual deaths from this disease.
"With the treatments we offered at the Ministry of Health, patients were better and 51% of those diagnosed and treated decreased viral load at six months," said Magis.
He added that one of the shortcomings that the region has is that pharmacy tests are not yet available to the population, which in countries like the United States are available to anyone who wants to take a quick test.
He added that reducing treatment costs would be of great help in countries like Mexico, where HIV treatment costs one third of the People's Insurance fund's catastrophic expense fund.
"Public policies should aim to improve access to treatment and one of the options is to reduce costs, consolidate drug purchases and allow more drugs to reach Mexico," he said.
He explained that in regions like Africa, the cost of treatment is $ 100 per year, thanks to the fact that the therapy is based on generic retrovirals; while in Mexico the cost rises to $ 2,000 because it is based on patented drugs.
Sierra said the HIV patient in Mexico, in addition to stigma and discrimination, must face a hostile health care system to follow the treatment.
"Unfortunately, we have a fragmented health system and this is not very useful for people who have diseases that need to be treated for a lifetime, sometimes institutions are a barrier to the continuity needed in the treatment of HIV," he said.
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