Last week I mentioned that I had been asked to appear on a TV programme and I am glad to say I decided to go ahead and do it.
The progamme , which was being broadcast from the Channel 7 studio in Belize City, was a joint collaboration between Alliance Against AIDS and Women’s Issues Network (WIN Belize). It was part of a series of live televised forums, the first ever in Belize and the main topics were Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS.
The particular show I was on focused on the link between gender based violence and womens’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. The panel was made up of a representative from the Belize Family Life Association, a doctor from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital who specialises in HIV related illnesses, the Ambassador of the National AIDS Commission and one more person but unfortunately I have forgotten the organisation she represented.
I sat in the audience with 2 other CWW volunteers and another member of the Belmopan branch of the AIDS commission, who works as a rural health doctor and for that night only was our driver to Belize City and back.
A lot of good came out of the show but I felt that people over 60 were excluded from the debate and that many people assumed that HIV was an issue for young people alone. When it was time for audience participation I gathered all my courage and grabbed the microphone and expressed my view on age and HIV.
The panel admitted that not enough is being done for Older Persons though as the panel doctor mentioned he does have patients who are over 60 and HIV+; many who are in isolation and who have no-one to turn to.
At the end of the show I spoke with the Ambassador, who was Minister for Human Development at the time the NCA was formed and asked that she inculde us in the drafting of the National AIDS Policy which is soon to be launched.
Our doctor/driver then took us out for a few drinks and I certainly felt like a real country girl who had made her first visit to the big city! Nightlife in Belize City is light years ahead of Belmopan nightlife.
It was a good end to the week.