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August 6, 2008

Mexico's Evolving HIV Epidemic

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of International Health and Cross Cultural Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla (Dr Strathdee); and Centro Nacional para la Prevención y Control del SIDA, Mexico City, Mexico (Dr Magis-Rodriguez).

JAMA. 2008;300(5):571-573. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.571

This year marks the first time the International AIDS Conference will be held in a Latin American country, with Mexico as its host. Accordingly, it is timely to revisit Mexico's status as a country thought to have averted a major human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, in contrast to some nearby countries (eg, the United States and Honduras). An estimated 180 000 HIV-positive individuals were living in Mexico in 2006, which translates to a prevalence of 0.3%.1 Yet with a pandemic that may shift rapidly, national HIV prevalence can mask considerable heterogeneity at the state level. In Mexico, a dynamic HIV subepidemic on its northern border with the United States now threatens its designation as a country of low prevalence and high risk.