In recent months the San Pedro AIDS Commission has been working really hard in its efforts to create more awareness on HIV/AIDS on the island. They have been conducting fundraising drives, participating in town festival, spreading the word and helping those affected with the disease.
Now that the organization is making great strides on its own here in Ambergris Caye, the Commission has made the decision to make public their most recent accomplishments and share with the public a little more details on how they are spending its funds and distributing assistance to those in need.
San Pedro AIDS Commission Chairman, Mr. Felix Ayuso, sat down with Ambergris Today to share these details. “We have gotten tremendous support and I am so happy to see the San Pedro community embracing us and all our efforts,” commented Mr. Felix Ayuso. “I have such a great team that is very dedicated to the cause and we all love to give back to our community through the AIDS Commission.”
Mr. Ayuso explained that majority of the funds raised goes towards monetary donations for HIV positive patients. Stipends are delivered to these patients depending on their needs and specific cases. In the past six months the Commission has delivered $4,200 in stipends to individuals and couples in need.
Although the Government of Belize does provide free antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS patients in the country, there is still more that patients need to keep up with their health. With the prescription from their doctors, the SP AIDS Commission also helps to provide some people with vitamins and other medications. In the past six months the Commission has helped with $757.50 for these extra medications for patients.
Other expenses that the group has are with promotional material such as videos, fliers, educational material and now wrist bands that the group is planning to sell to raise funds. Their latest fundraising efforts were at the Dia de San Pedro celebrations where they set up the Red Zone Booth selling drinks and these supportive red wrist bands. The Commission’s expenses on these promotional materials have added up to $2,425.96. It’s a big expense, stated Mr. Ayuso, but necessary for the group to continue educating people. Commission members even make individual monthly donations as part of their membership, just to keep things rolling. Very admirable!
“At this point, I would like to thank the entire San Pedro community for their support,” concluded Mr. Ayuso. “Our successful fundraising efforts have been solely with the great show of support from the residents and business community of our beloved island. Thank you all and I hope you all keep on supporting such a great cause that has been a taboo for such a long time.”
Up next for the SP AIDS Commission is to provide free HIV/AIDS testing at least four times a year in San Pedro.
AIDS Commission Wish List:
1. Local artist willing to donate his/her time to design and paint an AIDS Commission Billboard on the Lions Den commercial wall.
2. White Paint – to commence mural and beautification work on the northern wall of the Caribbeña Lagoon-side gas station to send across a positive message to the community.
For more information on the SP AIDS Commission and extending your assistance to the group’s cause please contact Chairman Ayuso at 663-9922.