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Belize observes World AIDS Day with goal of getting to Zero Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 00:00

Belize joins the rest of the world on December 1 to celebrate World AIDS Day with a single goal of “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS- related deaths.”

To raise awareness on World AIDS Day the National HIV Programme of the Ministry of Health partnered with the National AIDS Commission (NAC), Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO Belize) and other partner agencies to host art and health fairs in eight locations countrywide. In Belize City the fair was held at the center of town, the Battlefield Park.

Residents of the city visited throughout the day to learn more about the deadly disease. There were numerous information booths and interactive activities. PASMO’s booth was the most attractive with their board games and quizzes from which individuals were able to win prizes. Free testing and counseling was provided throughout the day and other health organizations like the Belize Diabetes Association were present to promote awareness on other epidemics affecting Belize.

According to the National AIDS Commission, the new focus of their campaign is geared towards testing more men. HIV is now considered to be a concentrated epidemic in Belize and the recently completed Modes of Transmission Study suggests that around 70% of new infections in 2014 will occur in men, thus the reason for a shift in the response.

There is also positive news to report however as Belize’s most recent figures show that the total number of HIV cases has decreased and the number of new HIV infections continues to decrease compared to what has been documented in the past. According to NAC, the national initiative will be refocused on increased HIV testing for men, the provision of condoms and also the creation of more treatment options for Belize.

NAC has launched a new gaming app which will provide useful information about HIV/AIDS in Belize, preventative measures, treatment options and support systems in place. It will be available for downloads in January 2015. During this time the Commission encourages Belizeans to donate and support Children Living with HIV in Belize. Donations can be made to Belize Bank account number 695-116-4268.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 15:31