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Mar 13, 2014

PASMO holds an open day

The younger population is mostly vulnerable in contacting sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. It is an issue that PASMO, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, has been targeting with a view to reduce risks. Today, it held an open day attracting students from many high schools considered at risk groups. Duane Moody has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Founded back in 1999, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) has the mandate to work in HIV/AIDS prevention using a social marketing approach. From various commercials and other activities across the country, PASMO has been partnering with several local organizations, using research and innovative social marketing strategies and products to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and foster sexual and reproductive health in communities throughout Belize. Today, the organization which is funded primarily by the U.S., held an open day for the public to bring awareness.

 

Keron Cacho

Keron Cacho, Program Supervisor, PASMO

“We’ve done primarily works in regards to sexual reproductive health to what we refer to as key populations; primarily the males at risk, female sex workers and youths at risk. Today, we have at our new location on Cotton Wick Street across from BERT; a wide display of what we are about. You have booths that will provide you with general information as to the history of our organization. Other booths will show you the methodology that we utilize to work with these key populations and also other organizations who we have been partnering with throughout the course of the year.”

 

PASMO Belize’s target is mostly at-risk and vulnerable populations including youths.

 

Keron Cacho

“We are trying our best to work with a lot of organizations where there is a high employee rate of males available. Data shows today that we still have a lot of issues in regards to HIV new infections in male population. And that in itself is an initiative that we’ve been trying to push through a lot of campaigns that we have been doing.  Currently, we have been working with other organizations: one, the Collaborative Network for Persons Living with HIV (CNET+) who can actually tailor works for individuals who already have HIV. They do specifically care and treatment; adherence to medications. Again, we speak about working with men or males at risk through a masculinity campaign that we have endeavored which speaks about creating different profiles, analyzing those profiles and then holistically dealing with these individuals in regards to their profile needs. Again it is all in relations to HIV/Sexual Reproductive Health information.”

 

Supervisor at PASMO Belize, Keron Cacho, also spoke on the limitations faced by the organization.

 

Keron Cacho

“What we are trying to do at this point in time is trying to meet people half way…many of the times between eight to five, yourself and I included, may not have the time to go about and taking an HIV test. So we are trying to mobilize our resources in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and BFLA in providing HIV testing on what might seem to be other than that another impossible time for an individual to take time. Besides that I think we, along with other organizations, also need to do more collaborations because there are other organizations out there with that same effort.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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