Improving AIDS Education in Belize
Sarah Gottfried, MIT '04 (Kelly-Douglas Fellow, January 2003)
7 p.m., Wednesday, February 26, 2003
in MIT Room 4-231
This event is part of our "It's Our Planet" series, in which members of the MIT
community report on research, activism, or volunteer work they have done across the hemisphere.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection per capita in Belize is the
highest in Central America and among the highest in the world.
One NGO reports: "In 1994, less than 1 percent of pregnant women
in Belize district tested positive for HIV. One year later, that
rate had risen to 2.5 percent. Belize has one of the highest
teenage pregnancy rates in the region, and young people are at
high risk of HIV infection. As in the rest of the developing
world, the epidemic in Belize is fueled by poverty, unemployment,
a poor health care infrastructure, and population mobility."
Can anything be done about it? Working with other volunteers
and with local health agencies in rural San Ignacio last month,
MIT biology major Sarah Gottfried helped put together an AIDS
education campaign. She returns to tell us exactly what she
did and what she learned.
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