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Global Fund to assist fight with HIV and TB

Matthew MacGregor

Matthew MacGregor

Matthew MacGregor

Tuesday, June 24, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Tuberculosis may not be on the national radar as a endemic disease, but HIV certainly is.

A primary funder of programs fighting these two diseases as well as malaria, the Global Fund, is conducting a review of past grant funding and future initiatives.

Portfolio manager Matthew MacGregor says that their previous grant was to the United Nations Development Program in Belize (UNDP) and it was successfully used.

Belize is in line for more, though MacGregor acknowledges that Belize has some challenges to meet in addressing HIV, particularly among vulnerable groups.

One of the organizations hoping to get in on the funding is the National AIDS Commission, chaired by Allison Green. Belize has a 1.4% prevalence rate of HIV, but vulnerable populations’ rates are higher, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM) where the figure is nearly 14%.

Green says more work needs to be done with this particular group, which suffers from discrimination and lack of knowledge of how to address health issues.

The consultation process with Global Fund takes between 6 and 9 months at which time a decision shall be made.

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