The Ministry of Health joins the global community to observe World Aids Day on December 1st, 2013. In Belize,we also
observe this day 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 our 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. We have 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, we have seen 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 is being 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.