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National HIV Testing Day- over 1600 get tested Print E-mail
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Friday, 06 July 2018 00:00

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 all exist for the betterment of all persons on earth. From seeking to end poverty and hunger to ensuring peace and justice, the 17 goals cover several facets of human life. SDG 3.3, “By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases”, specifically targets the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In consideration of this specific goal, the National AIDS Commission (NAC) in Belize celebrated the 1st Annual National HIV Testing Day (NTD). NTD, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Atlantic Bank Ltd., and DigiCell, was held was held on Friday June 29, 2018 under the theme “Achieving 90-90-90 by 2020.”

The 90-90-90 goal states that: By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and that By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have suppression.

A total of 8 sites were opened for the exercise including the San Pedro Town Polyclinic, Corozal Town CCH Polyclinic, Orange Walk Town Central Park, Belmopan City Police Station, San Ignacio Welcome Center, Dangriga Town Courts Parking lot, Punta Gorda Town Central Park, and Battlefield Park in Belize City. Besides these locations, the NAC, MOH, Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), Our Circle, and GoJoven engaged in testing in the key affected populations (Belize City, Cayo, and Dangriga) as part of their “On-site Testing Program.”

NTD is promoting the scaling up of HIV testing efforts in keeping up with the objectives of the National Strategic Plan. The goal of NTD was to reach a minimum of 1,200 persons and according to the NAC, they tested closer to 1600 persons, at least 275 persons in Belize City alone. Since 2017, over 30,000 HIV tests were administered nationwide and according to an NAC press release, “with the general scale up in services, we are on the right track to meet on national targets.”