In the region in recent years, the age group most affected by HIV / AIDS has been young people between 20 and 34 years of age.
Although the number of annual AIDS cases has decreased by 25% in recent years, Panama continues to be among the countries most affected by HIV / AIDS in the region.
From 48.1% in 2011, the cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) fell to 23.6% in 2019, this due to early diagnosis and timely treatment, as well as the increase in tests performed.
However, the Pro Wellbeing and Dignity of People Affected by HIV / AIDS Foundation (Probidsida) and the Ministry of Health are concerned about the increase in cases of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
“In 2011 there were 769 new cases of HIV and for 2019 the report was 1,460 cases. Of the increase in cases in the last 10 years, 80% corresponds to ages 15 to 39 years, ”says the Ministry of Health.
In the region in recent years, the age group most affected has been young people between 20 and 34 years old.
HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual contact, by blood transfusions and shared use of syringes, and from mother to child in childbirth or breastfeeding.
HIV / AIDS testing
According to the Social Security Fund (CSS), the patient interested in undergoing this test should go to their family doctor, who should provide guidance on the subject and fill out an HIV test request form (protocol), which It is a consent signed by the patient, indicating that they agree to have the test performed and that all the information provided, as well as its result, is confidential.
The Lcda. Zoraya Him, a nurse epidemiologist at the polyclinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 13-64 get tested at least once a year, if they have had sexual intercourse.
He added that every patient who undergoes the test is filled out with a special form in which information is collected; in case it is positive, to be able to locate it through the Epidemiology Program of the health facility, to refer and to initiate treatment.
In Panama, as in the rest of the world, there are thousands of people living with HIV without knowing it, hence the specialists indicate that the only way to know with certainty if a person has HIV is by getting tested.
A patient diagnosed with HIV who maintains his health controls and takes his medications will be able to achieve viral suppression in a short period of time, which will allow him to improve his quality of life.
Differences between HIV and AIDS
AIDS is a group of diseases that attack the immune system of people. It is caused by a virus called HIV or also HIV, which means human immunodeficiency virus