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Local researchers discuss HIV epidemic in Belize

HIV/AIDS discussion

HIV/AIDS discussion

HIV/AIDS discussion

AARON HUMES Reporting: Less people are contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in Belize. But HIV is still considered  a stain on the reputation of a person who contracts it.

The National Aids Commission and its international partners hosted the second annual HIV National Research Conference, seeking to identify and share local HIV-related research and how these studies impact the national response, especially in the areas of epidemiology, stigma and discrimination and policy efforts.

Director of the National AIDS Commission Allison Green shared that Belize still has some way to go to eliminate stigma and discrimination and provide proper health and other services to persons living with HIV.

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Green went on to tell us that this research will inform future policy and the national response to HIV in all sectors.

Presenters ranged from prominent health officials including Dr. Marvin Manzanero and Dr. Martin Cuellar to Caleb Orozco of UNIBAM and Eric Castellanos of the Coalition of Persons Living with HIV. T

he latter addressed what they saw as issues of stigma and discrimination and the implications for reaching populations vulnerable to HIV.

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