01.02.02. Prevalence and burden of significant communicable diseases or conditions | Mexico

01.02.02. Prevalence and burden of significant communicable diseases or conditions | Mexico

11 Jul 2022

Infectious diseases continue to represent a Public Health problem in Mexico, because of emerging and re-emerging infections, due to increased population mobility, overcrowding, inadequate basic sanitation, social marginalization, modification in the composition or behaviour of some infectious agents, drug resistance, and comorbidity, particularly acute respiratory, intestinal, and urinary tract infection (Soto-Estrada et al., 2016). Communicable diseases are major causes of premature death such as acute respiratory infections, and in some age groups, AIDS and tuberculosis appear as relevant causes along with Chagas disease, which stands out as a major cause of disability in older adults (Lozano Asencio et al., 2014).


Mexico has a National AIDS Cases Registry, which is the main tool for monitoring this epidemic in the country, which has led to an improvement in the registration of cases, as well as greater access to antiretroviral treatments, which in turn have been improving, giving people with HIV/AIDS a greater opportunity to live longer (Secretaría de Salud, 2015b).

The most recent epidemiologic data on HIV comes from the ENSANUT 2012 where in addition to survey questions, spot-blood tests for HIV (Western-blot) were taken from a sample of population 15-49. A prevalence of 0.15% was identified (95% CI 0.09-0.21); 0.07% (95% CI 0.03-0.11) in women, and 0.24% (95% CI 0.11-0.36) in men. The HIV positive population are more likely to be young men, with a higher socioeconomic level in relation to the general population and are also more likely to be covered by social security (49.9% in HIV positive versus 34.5% in non-positive) (Gutiérrez et al. 2014).

It was estimated that approximately 104,000 people 15 to 49 years were living with HIV in Mexico in 2012, and of these, 75% are men. Of those tested, 50.6% did not know their serological status before being tested as part of the survey. The estimated prevalence among individuals 15 to 49 years was adjusted both for selection bias correction and the usual difficulty to capture some population groups, which resulted in a slightly higher HIV serology of 0.23% and an estimated number of people with HIV of 140,000 (Gutiérrez et al., 2014).

Table 7. Serology prevalence of HIV, in population 15 to 49 years. Mexico, 2012

Age group Men %

(95% CI)

Woman %

(95% CI)

Total %

(95% CI)

15-49 0.24 (0.11-0.36) 0.07 (0.03-0.11) 0.15 (0.09-0.21)
15-19 0.21 (<0.00-0.44) Not estimable 1.10 (<0.00-0.21)
20-49 0.24 (0.10-0.39) 0.09 (0.10-0.39) 0.16 (0.09-0.23)

Source: ENSANUT, 2012

Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases

In Mexico, the Ministry of Health estimates that there are at least 2,000 to 2,500 deaths per year due to tuberculosis, as well as more than 19,000 new cases annually. Tuberculosis affects groups of all ages, but it predominates in young people and in mid-life. Not all treated cases of tuberculosis should be considered officially reported, because mistakes in clinical records should be considered, such as mix the prevalent cases (therapeutic failures, relapses, and chronic or multi-drug resistant cases) with the incidents, so it continues to be a major public health problem (Báez-saldaña et al., 2003).

Other relevant diseases are rotavirus, which is a virus that causes diarrheal disease, especially in infants between 6 and 24 months of age. Since 2006, children in Mexico have free access to rotavirus vaccine because it has been included in the basic vaccination table. Pneumonia causes bacterial meningitis in adults and is the second most common cause of meningitis in children over 2 years of age.

Vector-borne diseases

It is estimated that close to 60% of the national territory presents favourable conditions for the proliferation of insects that transmit pathogens. Malaria is about to be eradicated, dengue persists, while chikungunya and zika have recently appeared. In relation to dengue fever, it has increased in the last years in 30 states of the country. Finally, the Chagas disease, a condition caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is among the top ten causes of life years associated with disability in older adults (Lozano Asencio et al., 2013).


Báez-saldaña, A. R., Cm, M., Pérez-padilla, J. R., Salazar-lezama, M. A., Ar, B., Jr, P., & Ma, S. (2003). Discrepancias entre los datos ofrecidos por la Secretaría de Salud y la Organización Mundial de la Salud sobre tuberculosis en México , 1981-1998. 45(2).

Gutiérrez, J. P., Sucilla-Pérez, H., Conde-González, C. J., Izazola, J. A., Romero-Martínez, M., & Hernández-ávila, M. (2014). Seroprevalencia de VIH en población mexicana de entre 15 y 49 años: Resultados de la Ensanut 2012. Salud Publica de Mexico, 56(4), 323–332. https://saludpublica.mx/index.php/spm/article/view/7352/10303

Lozano Asencio, R., Gómez Dantés, H., Pelcastre Villafuerte, B. E., Montañez, J. C., Campuzano, J. C., Franco, F., & González Vilchis, J. J. (2013). Carga de la Enfermedad en México 1990-2010: Nuevos resultados y desafíos Contenido. 122.

Lozano Asencio, R., Gómez-Dantés, H., Pelcastre, B., Ruelas, M., Montañez, J., Campuzano, J., Franco, F., & González, J. (2014). Carga de la enfermedad en México 1990-2010. Nuevos resultados y desafíos (Vol. 91). Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Secretaría de Salud, 2014.

Secretaría de Salud. (2015b). Prontuario de la Salud. Informe sobre la salud de los Mexicanos 2015.

Soto-Estrada, G., Moreno-Altamirano, L., Pahua Díaz, D., Soto-Estrada, G., Moreno-Altamirano, L., & Pahua Díaz, D. (2016). Panorama epidemiológico de México, principales causas de morbilidad y mortalidad. Revista de La Facultad de Medicina (México), 59(6), 8–22. http://www.scielo.org.mx/pdf/facmed/v59n6/2448-4865-facmed-59-06-8.pdf