Gay men who took advantage of the free HIV testing offered during a recent health fair this past September 15 gave healthcare officials a disturbing new statistic to ponder regarding the spread of HIV infection in Tijuana.
The testing took place at the Feria de Salud staged at Plaza Santa Cecilia, right next to the Tijuana arch at Revolución and Calle 123, gateway to the city’s notorious nightclub district.
Of the 200 tests administered that day, 20 percent revealed positive results indicating infection. Some of those tested, upon being informed of their infected status, reacted with complete surprise, thinking that HIV infection was possible only if "one had been at it for years,” and that because they were so young it would be impossible for them to be infected.
The president of Fondo de Asistencia para el SIDA (an organization concerned with the tracking of HIV infection trends), Lorenzo Herrera María, offered the estimate that there are 500,000 homosexuals in Baja California and that 15 to 20 percent of them are carriers of HIV. He attributes the increase in HIV infection partially to homophobia, which he says tempts gays to go into denial about their sexuality and to lead closeted lives while engaging in risky behavior such as condom-less sex and drug and alcohol abuse.
Herrera María also stated that laws should be passed that provide penalties for those who try to deliberately infect others with HIV and that clandestine, anonymous sex in gay and heterosexual bars should be banned as an effective countermeasure to curb the proliferation of the virus.
Source: El Mexicano