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National AIDS Commission celebrates World AIDS Day

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019. 4:48 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Today, the National AIDS (NAC) Commission and many of its partners gathered at the Digi Park on Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City, for a Wellness Day activity in celebration of World AIDS Day 2019.

Anellie Parades, Communications and Programme Officer for the NAC, explained that World AIDS Day is celebrated globally on December 1, which falls on a Sunday this year. Paredes said that the celebration focuses on more than just knowing your HIV status but rather on personal wellness on a whole. Organizations such as the Belize Diabetes Association, Belize Kidney Association, Belize Family Life Association and the Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Center from the Ministry of Health, participated in the event.

“Wold AIDS Day is being celebrated this year under the theme “Communities make the Difference,” Paredes said. “I should mention that the Global Fund is in transition right now so we are working on establishing private sector partnerships to ensure that the work continues even after the Global Fund is gone.”

The event also saw the Ministry of Labor participating in a World AIDS Day event for the first time, through the Labour Department. Alfaro Muy, Labour Officer with the Labour Department explained that in the context of World AIDS Day, the department was out there explaining employee rights with respect to stigma and discrimination in the workplace.

“The Labour Department was a stakeholder in the development of the policy for work aCces being inclusive of HIV positive persons within the workplace,” Muy said. “Some of the most productive persons in the workforce are HIV positive, so we are out there informing them and everyone else about their rights and responsibilities as an employee.”

Stigma and discrimination continues to be one of the major issues faced by HIV positive persons worldwide.

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