Having access to treatment, timely diagnosis and combating stigma are the main challenges of the fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which affects 36.9 million people.
"There is a big problem of discrimination. The wrong ideas, the stigmas, the prejudices and continue to believe that there are only risk groups that will affect them are the most important challenges" to overcome, Dr Javier Báez Villaseñor told Efe on the occasion of World AIDS Day commemorating December 1.
The ex-official of the National Center for Prevention and Control of HIV and AIDS in Mexico (Censida) noted that only 21.7 million patients have access to treatment in the world, "so the challenge is to reach People who do not have it, either for economic reasons or because they do not know their condition. "
While there is still no cure for the disease, "thanks to the innovations in treatments, it has made the patient live for many decades with a good standard of living," he explained.
That's why this disease has ceased to be deadly, but one of the biggest challenges is to understand why, despite all the existing information about it, people are still infected. "It's a great riddle that we face", said the associate director of virology of the MSD pharmaceutical company.
"In 2018, 1.2 million people were infected in the world, the question is why? We know how to avoid it, but there are infections," he insisted.
According to the specialist, women are one of the sectors vulnerable to the disease.
"There are still worrying numbers such as the daily HIV infection of one thousand women between 15 and 24 years of age, although it is only transmitted through sexual, perinatal and bloodstream," he explained.
In fact, he said, women represent approximately half of infected adults and HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.
This explains why, especially in rural areas, women have little capacity to make important decisions about their sex life, as well as they suffer from gender inequality, differentiated access to health services and sexual violence.
"They are more vulnerable socially, in the populations with less income and this places them in a more committed situation," he explained.
He added that women should be given power in their decisions and in controlling their sexual life.
Báez Villaseñor has assured that they have taken important steps in the fight against this disease with regard to the prevention of perinatal and blood routes.
"The big challenge is sexual infection. But governments can not get into decisions that are so personal," said the expert.
In this regard, he pointed out that people should be aware that their practices "must be protected. It will always be better to prevent them from curing and we all have to contribute to moving forward in a world without HIV / AIDS," he said.
In the same way, he said that although there are currently prophylactic treatments that are used to prevent infection, they must be taken very carefully "must be under the medical advice, because it is not exempt from # adverse effects and secondary reactions ".
No medication totally avoids the risk of getting the virus, "so nobody has to trust, you should always follow the practices of safe sex, make ourselves responsible for our health and give battle until we get in the future dominate the HIV, "it is over.