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Apr 27, 2006

Behaviour strategy launched in fight against HIV

Story PictureAll the experts agree that positive behaviour change is priority one in fighting the spread of HIV infection. Here at home, statistics show that the population most affected by the deadly disease is in fact the country’s workforce. With that in mind, since last May the International Labour Organization and the Ministry of Labour have been brainstorming for ideas to promote healthier lifestyles in Belize. Today the final document was presented in Belize City … and according to National Project Coordinator Sheila Middleton, the community participation is encouraging.

Sheila Middleton, National Project Coordinator, I.L.O.
?We are working with eighteen companies under the utilities, agriculture, sanitation, banking sector so we?ve gotten very good response from these companies. What we have done is that we?ve trained peer educators in each of these companies so they will be able to go back to their workplace and teach their co-workers about HIV and AIDS. What we did, you will notice that the strategy is developed into four key areas, basic information about HIV AIDS, developing a workplace policy, health care, seeking behaviour. So it has four different components and under these four components information will be transmitted to the general workforce.?

?It does not only involve posters or doing ads on the radio, but also the workplace. The B.C.C. workplace programme involves a lot more, for example, peer education and the whole integrating HIV/AIDS into whatever activities the company has. For example in some of the companies that we are working with they?ve incorporated HIV into their family day, their newsletter, their payslips, giving messages about HIV/AIDS. So it?s much more than just having a poster out or a radio ad or a TV ad, it involves a lot more.?

Companies interested in participating in the I.L.O. workplace education programme can visit Middleton at number five Albert Street West.

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