SDSU Students in Calexico Hear Dire HIV/AIDS Migration Presentation

(L-R) Dr. Munoz and Dr. Gomez Bastidas have a Q&A session after the slideshow presentation on Sept. 27.

CALEXICO-  The San Diego State University-IV Borderlands Institution, in partnership with SDSU-IV Psychology Department faculty, held a HIV/AIDS forum Tuesday evening at the campus library.

Roughly 100 students and spectators packed the SDSU-IV Library awaiting the presentations by guest speakers Dr. Munoz and Dr. Gomez Bastidas regarding the relationship between HIV/ AIDS and migration along Mexico’s border.

The presentation began with a slide-show of general facts and statistics about HIV/AIDS in Mexico to give a population-dynamic scope of the subject matter.

Mexico has documented 184,304 cases of HIV/AIDS currently in the country. Of those cases, 132,050 patients remain alive, 60,990 have HIV and 71,060 have AIDS. Mexican officials estimate a population of 76 million people in Mexico do not know they have HIV/AIDS.

Only 63 percent of those that do have HIV are diagnosed in Mexico. Of those diagnosed, 94 percent seek treatment and 83 percent of those seeking treatment see a significant viral decline which equates to a viral recession in 43 percent of the entire population of HIV- infected persons.

Following the slideshow, Psychology in Culture students had the opportunity to ask questions.

“My students were here because this presentation coincides with relevant themes that we are covering in class,” stated psychology professor, Linda B. Abarbanell.

“HIV/AIDS cannot be pinpointed or rooted more prominently in any one particular geographical area of Mexico. It is unfair to say that the Southern and Central American immigrants are bringing it in from the southern border. At the same time, it is incorrect to say that it’s coming in from the northern border. The truth is that by now, HIV/AIDS can be anywhere in Mexico,” asserted Dr. Gomez Bastidas to clarify on the source of HIV/AIDS in Mexico.

“It is important to always monitor trends of migration and destination in relation to HIV/ AIDS infected individuals in case any correlations are observed, we can remain educated and informed,” added Dr. Munoz.

Dr. Munoz is a sociologist and social anthropologist from Spain specializing in medical anthropology. Currently, Dr. Munoz is a postdoctoral researcher in family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego.
Dr. Gomez Bastidas is a professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California School of Medicine and is also the bi-national coordinator of health on the U.S.-Mexico border.