- On July 2, 2015
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In September 2014 the police arrested Oscar, who was coming out of a weeklong meth binge. A search allegedly found that he was carrying half a kilo of crystal and he was locked up at Tijuana’s La Mesa prison, which houses 6,000 inmates. “The police put the drug on me,” he said. “With no witnesses, my lawyer said I’m going to get five years.”
SER is the main HIV prevention program in Tijuana that serves gay men and transgenders. Its staff regularly visits La Mesa prison to conduct rapid tests for the virus and educate inmates about how to protect themselves. SER’s Kristian Salas tested Oscar and found that he was positive.
The prison moved Oscar to a cell with six other HIV-infected inmates, who received double helpings of food. “Kristian told me I shouldn’t be sad,” said Oscar. “He told me it was like diabetes, and people don’t die as long as they take the medication. I’m not sure about that. Only time will tell me the truth.” In February 2015 Oscar said his CD4 count was 353, and he complained that CAPASITS was not giving him antiretrovirals. Mexico’s guidelines at that point called for treating all HIV-infected people, regardless of their CD4 count.