This information has been made possible through the support of the Global Fund and its special funds of the Country Coordinating Mechanism Grant. The National AIDS Commission of Belize aims to provide updated and relevant information on HIV for Persons Living with HIV, at-risk groups, social partners, health professionals, the public and other stakeholder in the response to HIV. The information here has been made available for all visitors to access the facts they seek so that together we can reach our national goals of zero new infections, zero deaths and zero stigma and discrimination.
National statistics indicate that the Belize District continues to have the highest reported numbers of HIV incidence followed by Cayo more recently. The data for 2012 new HIV infections reveal a 10% increase from the previous year. The data further showed that the ratio of new infection for male to female was 1.47:1 and a male positivity rate of 1.51% compared to 0.54% for female. Emerging data along with other recent studies indicates that Belize may have a concentrated epidemic among specific sub-populations. The Belize’s HIV Strategic Plan addresses these developments in the response by calling for more research, increased targeted and behavior change communication education and coordination of programs and services as important initiatives towards reducing the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS through sustainable systems of greater access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
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The National AIDS Commission of Belize
The National AIDS Commission was appointed by Cabinet and officially established in February 2000. The principal objective of the NAC is to coordinate, facilitate and monitor the national response to HIV/AIDS as well as the National Strategic Plan. The Commission also has the shared responsibility for Advocacy, Resource Mobilization, the development of Policy and Legislation, and over all monitoring and Evaluation of all interventions and efforts.
To effectively coordinate, facilitate and monitor the national response to HIV and AIDS and the Strategic Plan so as to reduce the incidence and spread of HIV/AIDS and provide comprehensive, quality support for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
By the end of 2016, Belize will have continued to reduce the number of HIV infections; extended the length and quality of life of people with HIV and their families; significantly reduced discrimination against persons vulnerable to HIV; and effectively coordinated a multi-sectorial response which is human rights based and gender responsive.
HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the body's white blood cells -- specifically a subset called CD4 or helper T cells. This attack allows opportunistic infections to take advantage of a weakened immune system, and can lead to illnesses, cancers, or neurological problems. If you have HIV and develop an opportunistic infection, your HIV infection may have progressed to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). But with careful monitoring, self-care, and treatment, you can prevent many infections and stay healthier if you do develop an infection.
A wide variety of germs can cause HIV opportunistic infections. These include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or fungi. Even before you have HIV, you have many of these in your body. But a healthy immune system normally keeps them under control. These are examples of other places where you can pick up germs that cause HIV opportunistic infections:
Almost any disease can become an HIV opportunistic infection when the immune system is weak. Some are more common than others, though. And some are more likely to occur at certain levels of CD4 counts than others. Here are some of the more common HIV opportunistic infections:
There are some differences between women and men with respect to opportunistic infections. Here are a few of them: