Researchers trace AIDS in Yucatan as far back as 1974

Mexico's first AIDS diagnosis was 36 years ago in Yucatan.

World AIDS Day in Mérida, Yucatán
World AIDS Day in Mérida, Yucatán

This summer marks 36 years since the first AIDS case was diagnosed in Yucatan. It was also the first time a person was known to have AIDS in Mexico.

The case was reported in 1983, the same year that the federal government issued Mexico’s first AIDS alert.

The first two cases of AIDS in Yucatan were identified two years after the syndrome was recognized in the United States. It was reported by Dr. Hugo Cabrera Bastarrachea with diagnostic support from the Autonomous University of Yucatan’s Dr. Fernando AndradeNarváez.

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Renán A. Góngora-Biachi and nine other researchers summarize this grim chapter in “The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Yucatan, Mexico: a research-based approach.”

“The first case identified also represented the first in the Mexican Republic.” according to 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.”

However, AIDS has been hidden in Yucatan since at least 1974, according to the 10 researchers.

From September 1985 to October 1986, doctors detected HIV in 15 out of 61 sexually active gay men, averaging 27 years old, in Mérida.

Merida was the epicenter of the epidemic until 1987 when cases began to appear in rural area.

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By 2018, Yucatan has recorded 5,199 HIV/AIDS cases, — 4,405 in men and 794 in women — according to the HIV/AIDS Epidemiological Surveillance System. The total number accounts for 2.6 of all cases in Mexico from 1983-2018.

Today, Mexico City has the largest share of AIDS cases (14.1 percent), followed by the State of Mexico (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).

Source: Diario de Yucatan

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