But as Belize battles HIV and AIDS, at the same time it is fighting COVID-19. AIDS Commission Director Enrique Novelo explained the ways in which Belizeans are handling both medical conditions are not dissimilar. One of the challenges, Romero notes, is that even though people know what they are up against, it does not always mean they act responsibly.
Enrique Romero, Director, National AIDS Commission: “When it comes to HIV Belizeans over all have a very good knowledge and understanding of what HIV is, where you can get tested and how you can protect yourself. But unfortunately and I believe it’s the same with COVID that knowledge does not easily and readily translate to behavior change so that is where the issue lies.”
Ernesto Vasquez, Host, The Morning Show: Because we don’t feel threatened.
Enrique Romero, Director, National AIDS Commission: “Exactly and we feel Superman, Superwoman until it hits us. So like I said it’s not that Belizeans don’t understand or have the knowledge we have a very good understanding of- for example there’s a high level of knowledge that condom is one of the safest ways of protecting against not only HIV but other sexually transmitted infections but yet when you look at the condom usage correct and concise use of condom we’re looking at 30-40%, 50% of people using condoms correctly and concisely. So that is the issue. The issue for us is ensuring that that knowledge is translated to behavior change.”
We will have more from our conversation with Romero in tomorrow’s news.