Knowledge, Attitude and Practices in Sexual Behavior and HIV/AIDS in Belize (Unpublished Manuscript)
Number 6 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) urges United Nations (UN) Member Countries
to “Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases”, and Target 6.A stipulates that we should “Have
halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS”.
Significant progress has been made towards realising MDG 6, specifically in the area of reducing the
number of new HIV cases and the number of HIV related deaths, as more people are adopting safer
sexual behaviours. Among young people, there has been an increase of knowledge about the
prevention of HIV transmission, and the proportion of 15 to 24 year olds who have had sex before the
age of 15 is decreasing. Among people with multiple sexual partners, condom use is on the rise, and the
proportion of persons who have received an HIV test and learned their results has increased (UNAIDS,
On the other hand, studies have found that in some countries, there have been increases in risky sexual
behaviours among young people. Additionally, stigma and discrimination, which are usually born out of
ignorance, continue to act as obstacles to good health practices, such as actively seeking information
about ones’ HIV status, and for those who test positive, seeking appropriate health care services.
Stigma and discrimination among the population can also adversely impact the ability of people living
with HIV/AIDS to lead full and dignified lives (UNAIDS, 2014).
As such, it is important to continuously monitor the trend in risky sexual behaviours, especially for the
particularly vulnerable 15 to 24 years old population, as these behaviours significantly impact the
prevalence of HIV in the population. It is also necessary to track the progress made in the effort to
increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS related issues among the population, which ultimately leads to the
elimination of stigma and discrimination against people affected by HIV/AIDS. The results obtained from
these monitoring activities can then be used to inform policies and interventions aimed at making the
fight against HIV/AIDS even more effective.
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(2014). Knowledge, Attitude and Practices in Sexual Behavior and HIV/AIDS in Belize. Unpublished; Statistical Institute of Belize.