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The first case of AIDS in Mexico was diagnosed in Yucatán

This 2019 marks the 36th anniversary of the first case of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in Yucatan, which was also the first in Mexico.

The pioneering case was reported in the same year that the federal government issued the AIDS alert in Mexico: in 1983.

"The first two cases of AIDS in Yucatan were identified in the summer of 1983 – two years after the syndrome was recognized in the United States of America – by Dr. Hugo Cabrera Bastarrachea, with diagnostic support from the Department of Immunology. of the Regional Research Center of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Autonomous University of Yucatan, by Dr. Fernando AndradeNarváez, "said Renán A. Góngora-Biachi and nine other researchers in" The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Yucatan, Mexico: a research-based approach. "

"The first case identified also represented the first case in the Mexican Republic," said the 10 authors of the scientific article.

"In 1984 there were no reported cases of AIDS in the state of Yucatan, however, the impact of this viral infection in this Mexican state was unknown," they added.


However, AIDS has been hidden in Yucatan since at least 1974 (45 years ago), according to the 10 researchers.

From September 1985 to October 1986, 61 men were studied with homosexual preferences living in the city of Mérida and with an average age of 27 years. HIV was found in 15, infection in class II was detected in two (asymptomatic), class III in six (generalized lymphadenopathy) and class IV in 13 (AIDS), detail.

In Yucatan, the first case of AIDS in Mexico"This study showed that the presence of HIV in the region was not a recent event, since the presence of cases with AIDS expression implied antiquity in the infection process, at least between four and twelve years (between 1982 and 1974, from 1986)", Say the scientists.


In Yucatan, the first case of AIDS in Mexico
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

They say that AIDS has come to Yucatan "imported" (which is the pattern of transmission III according to the World Health Organization, WHO), especially by young people of medium and high socioeconomic status who have sex with foreigners.

"Since 1998, the transmission dynamics of HIV have already depended on indigenous cases with type I (homosexual / bisexual) transmission patterns and were no longer associated with high socioeconomic levels," they said.


They also point out that Mérida was the cradle of AIDS and epicenter of the epidemic until 1987, since from 1988 cases were detected in other urban municipalities, and even in the rural area.

"From 1983 to 1987 almost all AIDS cases were residents of the municipality of Mérida and the epidemic began in men with a bisexual and homosexual preference and associated with sexual practices with foreigners or foreigners. In this period (1983-87), 2.8% of the total number of cases corresponding to Mérida were registered and in the other urban populations only one case was identified and in rural area none. 14 years of age and preferably homosexual, "explained the authors of the study.

To explain the process of dissemination, they divide Yucatan into three zones:

1) Merida: the AIDS epidemic increased: 29 cases between 1983-87 (2%), 204 (15%) between 1988-92 and 1151 (83%) from 1993 to November 2004.

2) Other urban municipalities (with more than 4,000 inhabitants (13.2%) of the cases from 1988-92 were found to be similar (40/303 (13.2%) of cases from 1988 to 1992) and 263/303 (86.7%) from 1993-2004.

3) In rural areas (with less than 4,000 inhabitants and agriculture) it was: 14/52 (27%) cases from 1988-92 and 38 (73%) from 1993 to 2004.

During this 11-year period, Mérida had a rate of 174 cases per 100,000 inhabitants; the other urban municipalities, 18.4 and rural, 11.2 cases.

Since the first AIDS case diagnosed in 1983, in Yucatan there were 5,199 cases of HIV / AIDS in 35 years, that is, until 2018: 4,405 in men and 794 in women, reports the HIV / AIDS Epidemiological Surveillance System.

The 5,199 cases of HIV / AIDS are equivalent to 2.6% of the total of 203,312 registered in Mexico from 1983 to 2018.


With this proportion, Yucatán occupies the thirteenth place in Mexico, after Mexico City (14.1%) Mexico State (10.7), Veracruz (8.4), Jalisco (6.6), Chiapas ( 5.4), Guerrero (5.2), Baja California and Puebla (4.4% each), Oaxaca (3.4), Michoacán (3.2), Nuevo León (3) and Chihuahua (2.8% ) .- Flower of Lourdes Estrella Santana

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