One in every 125 adults in Tijuana, Mexico, has HIV, a trend that rebukes Mexico’s nationally low infection rate, The Washington Post reports (, 8/1).

Infections in Tijuana, a city of 1.5 million along the U.S. border, are rising. Tijuana is often a waypoint for goods and workers traversing the United States and Mexico.

“I call HIV the uninvited hitchhiker,” says Steffanie Strathdee, a leading AIDS researcher at the University of California’s Division of International Health and Cross-Cultural Medicine.

Mexico, a largely conservative society, has begun to disperse condoms as a public health strategy.

“Before, it was taboo to even talk openly about condoms,” says Jorge Saavedra, chief of Mexico’s AIDS office. “Groups still oppose condom use, but at least we can mention the word.”