The National AIDS Commission Island Committee joined forces with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization PASMO Belize over the Costa Maya weekend to “Sweep the Island”. The activity was carried out over a two-day span commencing on Friday August 2nd through the 3rd.

The purpose of the activity was to reach one of the more “at risk” populations in San Pedro Town, with major focus on FSW – Female Sex Workers. As part of the drive, members of both NAC Island Committee and PASMO took to the streets offering both HIV Education and Free Mobile HIV Rapid Testing.

At the end, the team was able to visit four bars and various work sites; with a total of 67 tests performed. The testing done on both days by sex is as follows:
Day                       Male                         Female                    Total
Friday                    15                              31                            46
Saturday               18                                3                            21
Total:                     33                              34                            67

This exercise was so successful that Chair of the NAC Island Committee, Dennis Craft is excited to extend the service to other businesses.

“Here in San Pedro, in particular, there are loads of construction sites where there exists a rather large mobile population – individuals that travel from different parts of the country in pursuit of employment. We feel that this service, if welcomed be the various companies, would be a huge success. We’d like to get into these companies and offer sort of an HIV 101 presentation while touching on the various services available within the country to individuals that are infected with the HIV virus. Following or during the presentation, of course, the test would be offered.”

“With this sweep we were not able to reach all the bars here on the island. As such, we are now looking at the possibility of continuing this mobile testing in the bars that were not reached. We’d like to offer special thanks to the team from PASMO; members of the NAC Island Committee that assisted: Omar Solis, Dennis Craft, Nurse Robertha Herera and Nurse Lezel Cayetano and of-course the 67 individuals that participated in the testing. “

For more information about the NAC Island Committee and the work that we are doing, feel free to contact us via email: islandnac@gmail.com, our facebook page www.facebook.com/gettingto0 or by calling 650-7021.