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Guerrero: Third in Nation in the Incidence of AIDS

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 02 December, 2010

(Chilpancingo, JG/AN 2 December) According to a survey performed by Mexico’s Census Bureau (called INEGI), 187 new cases of HIV and AIDS were reported in the state of Guerrero during the period January to June, 2010. This puts it third among Mexico’s states. Only the Federal District and Baja California showed higher incidences. Morelos and Nayarit were close behind Guerrero. The national average was 130.

But a lot depends on where you get your information. The Secretary of Health of the State of Guerrero also announced an AIDs report yesterday, in recognition that December 1 is “World AIDS Day.” In the state report, Guerrero ranks seventh in the country overall, with 6,017 registered cases since the data started to be collected in 1983. The difference in the two reports results from considering different periods of time. The numbers show that 231 new cases of HIV-AIDS have been registered year to date, which is consistent with the 6 month figure announced in the INEGI survey. The peak year was 2004, when 441 new cases were reported. Since then, the incidence has declined, largely because of public health education and the distribution of free condoms.

The greatest number of new cases were reported in Acapulco, followed by Costa Chica, then Costa Grande. But on a per-capita basisthe figures show different results. According to the INEGI survey, the small county of Zapotitlán Tablas, in the Southern Sierra Madres of Guerrero, was the place reporting the greatest incidence of infection and deaths from AIDS. In general, the study concludes that HIV-AIDS is a greater health hazard in the small mountain communities than in the larger cities, like Acapulco, mainly because of poverty, ignorance and a low or non-existent level of health care.

Another conclusion of both research efforts is that the gap between the incidence of the disease in men and women is closing. In 1998 the death rate from HIV-AIDS in men was 8.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the figure for women was just 0.9 per 100,000. In 2008 the figures are 9 and 3 respectively. In Zapotitlán Tablas, the death rate in women was the highest observed in the state: 19.4% of infected women died during the year.

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