HIV Project Belize
The Republic of Belize faces an escalating prevalence of HIV among its population. It has the highest HIV rate in Central America (UNICEF mentions about 8 - 10% within certain age groups) and has still one of the highest new infection occurrences of all American countries. The reasons for this alarming status in Belize are first of all the lack of HIV / AIDS knowledge, carelessness and cultural traditions and secondly ignorance towards persons living with the virus.
HIV Project Belize was founded in 2000 and started with a voluntary counselling and testing centre in the country’s capital Belmopan. Later on the HIV Project Belize developed a close cooperative relationship with the Dangriga HIV/AIDS Society. Due to Dangrigas high prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases, the Project decided to move the VCT-centre completely to Dangriga (2003).
For the last five years HIV Project Belize has been supporting the local NGO financially and professionally with medical know how and useful supplies. It also helped with implementing prevention programs. The government, the Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Commission are aware of the big problems, are welcoming foreign aid and have been supporting the HIV Project Belize as much as their abilities allow. All steps of the HIV Project Belize are taken by mutual agreement with the Belizean Government. All partners hope to control the epidemic within the next ten years.