HIV / AIDS cases in Puerto Vallarta have been increasing between 20 and 25 a month during the pandemic, according to the doctor Saúl Oswaldo Ruiz Torres, coordinator of the Outpatient Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV / AIDS (Capasits) in the city.
Ruiz Torres indicated that the coronavirus pandemic brought with it an increase in people who came to take the test and, therefore, the number of patients also increased.
“Right now with the Covid issue, we saw something important, that there began to be more detection and there were more people who began to look for the test,” said the coordinator of Capasits, who explained this derived from the uncertainty that existed among the risk sector that, in case of being infected, “many came to take the test in case of detection and start with retroviral treatment and improve their immune status and not be at greater risk from Covid.”
At present, the tests have increased and the treatments, for two reasons, details the doctor by profession, “for the foreigners who were stranded in our country (and who are being offered treatment for free) and the people who they began to come to take tests for fear that they were living with HIV and were not receiving treatment and the Covid would hit them ”.
However, despite the coronavirus pandemic, Capasits in Puerto Vallarta has not stopped its activities, as it continues to treat 1,115 patients of the 2,023 files it has.
Being a high-risk sector in the face of Covid 19, the center’s staff had to innovate and continue to care for patients, although almost 50 percent stopped attending treatment during the pandemic.
“We made a change in terms of avoiding the risk of contagion, since the patients could not attend, so many of them did not attend their viral load or the consultation, we innovated and we were working through virtual consultations,” said Doctor Ruiz Torres.
The patient made appointments on a regular basis and what the treating physicians did was communicate with them by phone or video call to continue with the consultations.
Despite this, there was a reduction in patients, normally, every Wednesday the Capasits received 80 people for viral load testing, and it was reduced to 40, currently with all health measures, all are being cited on time deferred to attend face-to-face consultations, but with 50 percent capacity.
The coordinator of Capacit said that the coronavirus has been a challenge, not only for the care of the disease, but also for the health sector itself, which, like other sectors, was not prepared for this pandemic, but innovation and the application of technology has been of great help, so it is not ruled out to continue making use of them.