The San Pedro AIDS Commission is a very active group on Ambergris Caye, Belize with always conducting fundraisers to help and support patients living with HIV/AIDS. The San Pedro AIDS Commission held its annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk and Health Fair on Sunday, December 1, 2013.
Members of the San Pedro AIDS Commission along with the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, councilors, the San Pedro Lions Club Presidents, Rigoberto Kumul and members, Miss San Pedro Solani Graniel, Miss Lions Arlethe Lima, Miss SPHS Chelsea Muñoz, Miss Chiquitita Zillah Flota and other business individuals and supporters walked along downtown in support of World AIDS Day.
An all day health fair followed immediately at the Central Park where rapid HIV confidential testing took place and the beautiful queens assisted with the fundraising dollar drive. There were lots to eat and drink including live musical presentation by San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja and DJ Tribal.
Ministry of Health Commemorates World AIDS Day 2013
The Ministry of Health also joined the global community in observing World Aids Day on December 1st, 2013. In Belize it was also observed as the National Day for HIV testing, an initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with stakeholder partners as part of the National Response to this epidemic.
Belize’s response continues to receive acclaim among regional partners in the Caribbean and in Central America. Belize has adopted many public policies in an effort to reduce the incidence and prevalence of HIV. The country has seen a decrease in the number of new infections. Prevalence rate of HIV infections documented for Belize at the end of 2012 was 1.4%; a decrease from previous figure of 2.4%.
The National HIV Program of the Ministry of Health has continued to expand the services offered to the public including the widespread of free HIV testing at public health fairs and at public health facilities with quick results; in some cases within a couple of minutes depending on the test. As a consequence of this there has been an increase in the number of persons consenting to take the test every year.
A calendar of activities in collaboration with the Women’s Department 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, offers many opportunities for wide scale testing across the country. The program has also seen an increase in the number of patients being placed on treatment. As of 2003, all anti-retroviral drugs are free of cost and available through public health facilities countrywide.
World AIDS Day was observed under the Global theme of “Getting to Zero”; a global commitment to have Zero new HIV infections, Zero cases of discrimination and Zero cases of AIDS-related death by the year 2015.
World AIDS Day has been observed globally on December 1st as of 1988 and in Belize since 2006. The Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, encourages everyone to take time out to get an HIV test – know your status now, live longer.