The aim of the HIV/AIDS program is to decrease the risk and impact of STI/HIV/AIDS through the delivery of efficient and effective HIV/AIDS services in Belize. The program also aims to include the comprehensive management of People Living with STI/HIV/AIDS.
Specifically, the program seeks to:
- Reduce risk through a Voluntary Counselling and Testing Programme
- Reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS through access to ARV Therapy and medications for Opportunistic Infections for Belizeans Living With HIV/AIDS
- Promote the development of monitoring and evaluation proceedures for sustainability and quality of care
The National AIDS Program, is a preventative public health program, it is the Ministry of Health's mutisectoral response towards the prevention, treatment and care of Belizeans Living With STI/HIV/AIDS. It is a planned activity aimed at making full and rational use of the technical knowledge and health resources available. The programs main activities are:
- Information, Education and Communication: This strategy involves public education as well as continuing education for healthcare workers utilizing different mediums including workshops. Leaflets, posters, radio and television form part of the medium for education.
- Counseling: Pre and post-title counseling are essential components for good clinical care of individuals at risk or infected with STI/HIV. Counseling is integrated with all HIV titleing, screening and care. Healthcare workers have attended workshops to increase their counseling skills to provide a better quality of service to clients.
- Diagnosis: Healthcare workers in all six districts have been trained to diagnose STI and HIV/AIDS based on clinical manifestations. The Central Medical Laboratory plays an important role in the diagnosis of these diseases and at the same time there is a need to increase laboratory capacity at the district level.
- Treatment: Medications are available in Belize to treat STIs. Antiretrovirals are also available in Belize. Certain Opportunistic infections can be treated depending on the treatment.
- Surveillance: The National Health Information and Surveillance Unit monitors the trend of STI/HIV/AIDS in Belize. Cases are detected and reported at the District Information Unit where this information is sent to the National Level.
- Contact Tracing: Prompt and thorough contact investigation is essential to break the transmission of STI/HIV/AIDS. This investigation is implemented by the Public Health Personnel.
- Research: This component will provide recommendations to assist in the implementation of new strategies.