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Salud Publica Mex. 1995 Nov-Dec;37(6):602-14.

[The homosexual transmission of HIV/AIDS in Mexico].

[Article in Spanish]

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Consejo Nacional de Prevención y Control del SIDA (CONASIDA), Secretaría de Salud (SSA).



To analyze HIV homosexual transmission in Mexico, epidemic trends and biological and social risk factors.


This analysis is based on 19,090 notifications of AIDS cases and on a review of two previous studies that include 3,029 behavioral interviews (together with HIV serological screening tests) carried out at the Information Center of the Mexican Council for Control and Prevention of AIDS (CONASIDA) (1988-89) and during a 1988 study in six Mexican cities. Cities were included because they were the larger in the country and/or because they were the larger in the country and/or because they were touristic places (Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Acapulco, Tijuana and Merida). Logistic regressions were used to estimate the odds ratios for HIV seropositivity and for condom use.


Seventy-two percent of the total reported AIDS cases (19,090) up to June 30, 1994, were associated with male homosexual behaviors. In absolute numbers, cases under this category exhibited a rising trend until the end of 1993. HIV seroprevalence was 31% in 2,314 men with homosexual practices who attended "FLORA", the AIDS Information Center in Mexico, from January 1988 to June 30, 1989. The main predictive variables for seropositivity were exclusive homosexual behavior, more than 40 lifetime sexual partners, mixed sexual behavior (both insertive and receptive and intercourse), sex with a person with AIDS, history of syphilis, and anal or genital warts. In general, these risk factors (data from the Information Center) are similar to those found in the six Mexican cities study. There were significant differences in HIV prevalence among the high-risk city samples (the highest in Mexico City with 25% and the lowest in Monterrey with 2.4%). Reported condom use was very low in both studies: only 5% used a condom in all of their sexual relationships. A statistically significant protective effect for HIV infection was found only for those who reported using a condom in all sexual encounters. In the six cities study, city of residence was a strong predictor of condom use.


HIV homosexual transmission is steadily increasing; the recent decline in the percentage of homosexual cases is artificial because of the increment of cases under other categories. Men who report exclusive homosexual behavior have higher prevalence rates of infection than bisexual men. Individuals with insertive/receptive behavior (mixed) have the highest risk for HIV seropositivity, mainly because of sociological, rather than biological reasons. This difference in risks for HIV and condom use may be related to the selection of sexual partners from specific social networks. Condom use was demonstrated to be an effective method for preventing HIV seropositivity among those who always use condoms. However, it is alarming that only 5% of respondents reported condom use in all sexual encounters. Social and geographic differences in the cumulative numbers of cases, HIV prevalence, sexual practices and condom use must be taken into account in the planning of preventive programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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