AHF Mexico: A Community Call to Pope Francis for People Living with HIV

MEXICO CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(AIDS
Healthcare Foundation
) AHF Mexico in collaboration with other civil
society associations, people living with HIV, and lay health
professionals, are petitioning Pope Francis in his visit to Mexico to
publicly support HIV prevention actions and focus attention on people
living with HIV/AIDS around the world. The Pope is set to visit Mexico
February 12th through February 18th.

“There is still an alarming lack of awareness, information, and
prioritization of HIV/AIDS among leaders and decision makers when the
public policies are defined for social and public health in Mexico,”
said Armando Mayen, National Coordinator of Prevention and Rapid
HIV Tests of AHF
Mexico
.

He added that the civil society “needs to speak out to remind them that
the prevention and treatment of HIV is not an extraordinary expense, but
an investment in the medium and long term for the country’s well-being.”
There is scientific evidence on epidemic control of AIDS and reduction
of HIV transmission, but this will not keep on happening unless there is
a coordinated response and a political will of governments, companies,
and organized society.

Finally, Mayen said that the petition to Pope Francis to recognize and
to rule in favor of this problem is because they recognize their
leadership and believe Pope Francis can influence the decision makers in
Mexico and elsewhere in the world in favor of the most disadvantaged and
vulnerable people.

According to figures from CENSIDA 20121, in Mexico about 48%
of people with HIV have not had access to testing and therefore do not
know their own HIV status. We know that 6 out of 10 Mexicans do not use
condoms during sex (the primary means of HIV transmission in the
country), with a rate of 96% among all new cases.

After finding out they are HIV positive, only 44% of people are retained
in medical care and only 26% are successfully on antiretroviral
treatment and have their virus suppressed. The most frequent reason for
lack of medical care and treatment is due to social and economic
problems, including shortages of antiretroviral drugs. These gaps can be
reduced, prioritizing HIV prevention and care for those affected.

1 Magis-Rodriguez C., et al. Salud Pública de México/ vol.55,
no.4, julio-agosto de 2013

Contacts

AHF México
Itziar Sanz, Marketing Coordinator LATAM
Mobile:
+52 1 (55) 4857 6347
itziar.sanz@aidshealth.org