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Nov 27, 2009

Spread of HIV education through music and lyrics

Story PictureWorld Aids Day will be celebrated next week. And we found one organization that has been working tirelessly for ten years carrying a message of prevention. HIV Project is taking on a new approach to building awareness about the deadly disease. The group will be compiling a CD featuring Belize’s best talent to be released free of charge. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Belize has more than five thousand persons living with HIV or AIDS. The message of protection is not hitting home as 2009’s second quarter statistics show that one hundred and six persons tested positive for HIV and twenty more tested positive for AIDS between April and June. The HIV Project Belize is one of several organizations working on education and prevention strategies.

Sebastian Voelker, Safe and Sound Music for the Future
“The HIV project is working in Belize ten years. Their first location was in Belmopan and then they moved to Hopkins and since eight years in Dangriga to make all the prevention work help the people, talking to them, get to know all about the disease, HIV.”

HIV Project Belize has decided to pass the message in music and lyrics that will caress the ear and penetrate the minds of the youth, a very crucial target group.

Sebastian Voelker
“Actually we are searching for musicians from Belize to take part in our competition because it’s like a music competition. And everybody should write a song against HIV or at least about HIV/AIDS to take part in the competition. Our final aim is to press a CD with the best sixteen bands and distribute it free of charge to the country and everybody who wants to listen to it to make the people aware of the disease and keep in mind AIDS is a very important topic for the people of Belize.”

For Pen Cayetano, musician and artist, this issue is a personal one. He has signed on as a patron for the CD initiative.

Pen Cayetano, Patron of Safe and Sound Music for the Future
“I see as a Belizean this Aids epidemic weh di tek ova Belize yah, I was shocked when I returned from Germany and I heard that Belize was the number one leading country of the HIV. And for this country, my hometown to me its not so good to have that kind of report. I have to assist in this kind of movement because it’s my hometown and the AIDS that is taking my hometown, to me it’s very devastating. I think from now until 2020 or 2030, if the rate of death of HIV continues like that I think sooner or later we might not have Belize and Belizeans living in Belize again. I think it’s very important that musicians write songs about these kind of disease because it is affecting Belizeans.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The final date for submitting a song is January thirty-first. Information is available on the website at The organizers say that there will also be prize money for winners. An international jury will decide on the winners.

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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