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Dec 1, 2021

HIV Services App Re-Launched on World AIDS Day

Three years after it had initially launched the HIV Services App, today the National AIDS Commission re-launched the application that is boasting a lot of new features. The goal is to get more people tested and provide a platform for persons to get to testing sites near to them. Today, at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza, the new app was introduced. Here’s a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Three years later and the data remains the same: persons between the ages of twenty and forty-nine in Belize are most at risk to contracting HIV. The number of HIV-related deaths is on a downward trend over the last decade with 2021 recording fifty deaths so far, which is less than half the amount when compared to 2011’s one hundred and sixteen. The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is: “Ending Inequalities, End AIDS and End Pandemics.”


Dr. Francis Morey

Dr. Francis Morey, Deputy DHS, Ministry of Health & Wellness

“The Ministry of Health is not the only ministry that should respond to this global pandemic. It calls for partnership with our key communities that are affected, the persons and families who are affected. It talks about the non-governmental organizations; it talks about us responding as a country and as a family. AIDS does not affect a person, it affects an entire group of persons and entire family and that’s where the inequalities come in our country’s context. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown all the inequalities that exist in our country.”


Ending AIDS in Belize is a task for everyone because there are socioeconomic and mental health issues associated with it. And there is need for a collective response. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the services provided to HIV/AIDS patients.


Enrique Romero

Enrique Romero, Executive Director, National AIDS Commission

“The National AIDS Commission reaffirms its commitment to continue providing the support services necessary in reaching key and vulnerable populations left behind. These populations include men who have sex with men, transgender persons, migrants, sex workers, young people, inmates and persons living with HIV. The gains that have been achieved globally in the fight against HIV and AIDS is not under severe threat as the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage, disrupting HIV prevention and treatment services, schooling, violence prevention programs and continues to fuel gender-based violence thus making the lives of persons living with HIV and AIDS even more challenging.”


As part of its national strategic plan, the NAC re-launched its HIV Services App.


Enrique Romero

“We hope that key and vulnerable populations can safely navigate to the nearest testing facilities in the country and this is either a Ministry of Health and Wellness facility, NHI clinics as well as civil society organizations such as BFLA and Go Belize that offer testing. The app will also allow users to receive updated risk reduction messages and as part of our communication campaign, we are developing some videos and ads and messages that we want to start airing and providing on social media platforms to key and vulnerable populations. The app will also allow persons to receive regular updates from the NAC such as access to quarterly reports, monitoring and evaluation reports annual reports and other such information that they may find valuable. The app will also allow access to contact information for the various stakeholders and partners in the HIV response with a quick link to their website email and telephone.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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