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Aug 28, 2012

Aids Commission conference on HIV stigma and discrimination

Martin Cuellar

Quality of life is not only the concern of the Police Department; the National Aids Commission also bears the burden to improve the lives of HIV affected people who are also part of the country’s workforce. The commission is set to stage a one day conference on HIV stigma and discrimination, funded by USAID on Wednesday. The opening ceremony for tomorrow’s seminar is tonight at the Biltmore with the release of findings from a stigma and discrimination survey conducted on sub-groups in Belize. Dr. Martin Cuellar, Executive Director of National AIDS Commission, says the event is geared towards impacting policies and informing individuals and organizations on the role they play in reducing HIV discrimination in Belize.


Dr. Martin Cuellar, Executive Director, National Aids Commission

“The conference has two priorities; one is to make sure that the work that we do against stigma and discrimination is evidenced based and so we’ll be looking at not only one but several recent studies and assessments that have been done on stigma and its presence in Belize in different areas and among vulnerable populations. Tonight at the opening ceremony, we will be looking at what is called Score B, which is a multiple sub population study that was done by our partners out of CARICOM called PANCAP, and it actually has a specific stigma and discrimination initiative and through that interviews were done in five different sub-populations in Belize including faith-based organizations, uniformed organizations like the police, customs, immigration etc. We looked at people living with HIV. We looked at sexual minorities and youth; the results of those studies will be shared tonight. But we continue to look at other similar studies in the morning tomorrow, where we look at the impact of stigma and discrimination not only on the specific lives of people living with HIV but also on the organizations that work on trying to minimize HIV in Belize. In the afternoon we look at the legal component; what are the policies and policy initiatives that can or are undertaking to help us reduce stigma as well.”


Andrea Polanco

“Now, are you at liberty to say what are some things that jump out at you, when you look at the findings from the survey?”


Dr. Martin Cuellar

“I think there are two directions in which the results will draw your attention and that is interesting because not all of the results seem to match or meet people’s expectations and in some cases the picture is a little bit better than we expect and that is good and in some cases perhaps it is even worse than we expected and that is not good. So there will be some positive surprises and maybe some negative ones as well.”


On Wednesday, the conference will run from eight a.m. to five p.m. at the Biltmore.

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3 Responses for “Aids Commission conference on HIV stigma and discrimination”

  1. Rod says:

    They haven’t told you all that almost half of all the residents from 17 to 35 has aids in Belize city why doesn’t this gov ever tell the truth guess its not in their genes.

  2. Coralblack says:

    Aids have been cured since 1982. There are no reason for you people to be dying from Diabetes and Aids.Check Dr Sebi or the Usha Research Institute, right there in Honduras. Come on people, please
    stop playing dumb and save uhnuh selves. People love to be lied too, and when someone try to show them the truth,out of love, instead of researching for themselves,they ridicule. YHWH ElShaddai

  3. RAY says:

    So sad many people have & have died from this disease. 1 thing for sure, make sure you use protection when having any type of sex, know your partners activities & beware of getting contact with any blood/needles. If you suspect someone is HIV instead of discriminating have the person get medical attention. Medication is free, the US provides for most 3rd world countries. Before it was really embarassing but, I have met many people that talk openly about it. You don’t have to take 8-15 pill/dy like before. Most people take 4-6 with minimal side effects. This is a disease that attacks BABIES, ADULTS, BISEXUAL, HOMOSEXUAL, TRANSGENDER & STRAIGHT PEOPLE. WE NEED TO CONTROL IT.

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