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Nov 15, 2006

Education and advocacy still key to AIDS fight

Story PictureAs access to medicine and treatment options increase, experts leading the fight against HIV and AIDS are working hard to simultaneously promote prevention measures to the general public. According to Rodel Beltran Perrera, Executive Director of Alliance Against AIDS, while Belize must begin to implement social support systems for persons living with the deadly disease, education and advocacy is key.

Rodel Beltran Perrera, Alliance Against AIDS
?Advocacy that these things happen in your communities that is part of prevention. Seeking to reduce stigma and discrimination lets understand what it is. When you go to a clinic you get adequate and sincere services, and that I feel is a factor to making you feel comfortable as a client and then once your family knows that information about you they are also allowed some kind of comfort zone. Let?s see the availability of legal documentation, it does not exist. Yes, our government is providing Anti-Retroviral medication, but the level of prevention strategies and the level of prevention mechanisms they are desired. But to actually put them in place is where we are struggling to get.?

Janelle Chanona. Reporting
?Has it worked in other places? Have you seen that this type of approach is taking hold??

Edgar Carrasco, LACCASO
?Brazil is a good example in our region. That the approach of prevention and treatment both together have very good results.?

Janelle Chanona
?What exact prevention methods are they pushing??

Edgar Carrasco
?They are pushing for example: prevention for positive, prevention for those vulnerable communities and focus on sex workers, gay people or drug users. And beyond telling them about mechanisms about ways to prevent HIV, they also talk about human rights and they also talk about citizenship and participation of society in the public health approaches.?

Rodel Beltran Perrera
?We aren?t seeing the full participation of our community in speaking up about HIV in our country. We do need to see that much more than is presently.?

Officials from the Latin American and the Caribbean Council of AIDS Services Organisations will be in Belize conducting workshops until the end of the week.

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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