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New HIV infections increased in 2018, especially in the Belize District

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019. 12:43 AM CST.

By Aaron Humes: This week, the Ministry of Social Affairs national HIV program released statistics on the state of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

There was an increase of 29 new infections in 2018, to a total of 252, the first increase since 2015.

Overall, new infections have trended down from an all-time high of 457 in 2005. The first HIV case in Belize was registered 1986.

The majority of new infections occurred in the Belize district with 138, where almost three times as many men (99) as women (39) tested positive. Next is Stann Creek with 42 and Cayo with 36.

More than 4,900 Belizeans are now living with HIV and about a third are on antiretroviral medicine.

Some 1

07 deaths were reported, but crucially, none of the children were born to HIV-positive pregnant women (16).

In general, women test twice as much as men. Nevertheless, two-thirds of the confirmed cases are men.

Recently, the Caribbean has aimed for no new infections and reduced stigma and discrimination.

World AIDS Day will be held on December 1st.

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