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Aug 3, 2004

New cookbook adds flavour to fight against AIDS

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With more and more Belizeans dealing with the frightening reality of testing positive, analysts say the HIV/AIDS situation in Belize will probably get worse before it gets better. Today, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute introduced the Caribbean Handbook: “Healthy Eating for Better Living”. The book was developed by C.F.N.I. to provide caregivers and people living with HIV/AIDS with basic nutritional information. According to director of the National AIDS Programme Dr. Paul Edwards, the book is a valuable tool in Belize’s campaign against the deadly disease.

Dr. Paul Edwards, Dir., National AIDS Programme

?What it does, it takes Caribbean recipes and certainly recipes that are pertinent to Belize, all the food that we can obtain here to provide the very best nutritional value to that individual who is living with HIV or AIDS.?

Patrick Jones

?Who is this book intended for??

Dr. Paul Edwards

?This book is certainly intended for our health care providers who will share with that information to our individuals who are living with the disease and also for those individuals who are living with the disease who are capable of reading that book and then applying what is in there to their lives so that they can benefit from a good nutritional support.?

Patrick Jones

?What would you say to people who are sceptical that this could work, it?s a new arsenal in the fight against AIDS what would you say to those people??

Dr. Paul Edwards

?Scepticism? I have living human proof here. And I am certain that Errol could share with you when he was diagnosed with aids, he was down to a hundred and almost twenty-five pounds and look at him now, with medication and with a good nutritional support. And I am aware of that because when we are at meetings with him he goes, Dr. Edwards I need to eat now or I can?t eat because I am supposed to take my medication on empty stomach. Now he is taking a regimen whereby he can eat and take that medication. And there is living proof that nutrition and taking the medication as indicated by a doctor, works.?

Edwards says that a hundred copies of the handbook were supplied to the Ministry of Health for distribution to health care providers and persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Close to fifty individuals who work in response to HIV/AIDS in Belize are this week taking part in a three day workshop, to familiarize them with the information in the handbook, so that they in turn can pass that information on to people who visit the Voluntary Counselling and Testing centres and other sites countrywide. In related news, Edwards says that there are currently one hundred and thirty-five Belizeans on full anti-retroviral medication treatment. In 2003, G.O.B. acquired enough medication to make treatment available to two hundred infected persons. If you would like to find out your HIV status, you are asked to contact any of the Voluntary Counselling and Testing centres.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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