The Belize National AIDS Commission and Executive Director Enrique Romero were presented with the 10th Anniversary Regional Testing Day Innovative Outreach Award for their contribution to the Regional Testing Day on HIV initiative as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.
The award was given in recognition of the innovative approach that the NAC has taken to the promotion of Regional Testing Day in Belize.
Thirty-three (33) awards were presented to organizations and individuals from across the Caribbean who have worked tirelessly over the last ten years in support of Regional Testing Day (RTD) activities. The milestone tenth Anniversary of Regional Testing Day for HIV AIDS in the Caribbean was also launched at this glittering event.
The awardees hailed from St. Lucia, Jamaica Belize, Haiti, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands. The 10th anniversary Regional Testing Day will be on June 30th and is preceded by a one month campaign (launched on May 26th) to raise public awareness. LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance presented awards to 21 individuals and 12 organizations as part of its continued promotion of its unique media brand, addressing HIV and issues of human rights and social justice in the Caribbean. The campaign includes interviews on Radio and TV stations across the region and PSAs anchored by the popular local jingle which has been refreshed and remixed by overwhelming request, with Bajan talent in LIVE UP Champions: Biggie Irie, a Groovy Soca Monarch, Mahalia Cummins from the dynamic Bajan band Two Mile Hill, and Tamara Marshall formerly with Spice Band.
The target for the RTD 10th anniversary in 2017 is a total of one hundred thousand (100,000) people in the Caribbean tested over 10 years of RTD. In 2016, over twenty thousand (20,000) people were tested in 20 countries. Regional Testing Day has been organised by LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance for the last ten years, with the support of strategic partners Scotiabank, PANCAP, Ministries and Departments of Health and National AIDS Programmes (NAPs).
These entities continue to support the innovative and successful Public/Private Partnership Initiative Regional Testing Day jointly introduced in 2008. The LIVE UP Campaign has become a regional movement and achieved one of the most important health and humanitarian goals ever established across our countries in the region. Member broadcasters have contributed by donating free airtime to messaging and programming, which fall under the "LIVE UP" banner. An estimated US$25 Million has been contributed in annual airtime so far.
The impact of media support in general as well as Social Media on the RTD campaign has proven beneficial with the Facebook data collected from our LIVE UP Facebook Page showing the use of social media by younger audiences to get information about Regional Testing Day.