Belize observes Regional Testing Day

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Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017. 6:51 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The National AIDS Commission (NAC) culminated six weeks of mobile HIV testing today, with countrywide observance of Regional Testing Day.

The NAC and its partners, such as the Ministry of Health and Scotia Bank, had testing sites all over the country, encouraging Belizeans to come out and learn their HIV status.

Arthur Usher, Communications and programs officer for the NAC, said that the preliminary figures for Belize City alone, exceeded 140 people; however, it will take the commission some time to process all the data. Usher added that preliminary estimates also show that the participants may have been primarily female, for Belize City, but the final figure will be able to give a clearer picture.

“Really, it boils down to a need for behavioral change. Men need to start taking their health, in general, more seriously,” Usher said.

He added that NAC will continue to push campaigns that target individuals to get tested. In Belize, women outnumber men almost 3-1 when it comes to HIV testing.

The Ministry of Health told BBN that the 2016 HIV Statistics has been gathered but is still going through processing and should be ready later this year. The ministry’s comparative data for 2014/2015, showed that new HIV infections had gone up from 226 in 2014, to 239 in 2015.

Data from several studies done in Belize has determined that there is low rate of condom use in the country, while there are high rates of both males and females having multiple sex partners.

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