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AFRICA: World Cup HIV campaigns

NAIROBI, 17 June 2010 (IRIN) - The 2010 FIFA World Cup is underway in South Africa and HIV/AIDS campaigners are taking advantage of the international focus on Africa to raise awareness about HIV. IRIN/PlusNews lists some of the campaigns running during the month-long tournament from 11 June to 11 July.

Give AIDS the Red Card
 
National football team captains, including South Africa, Nigeria and France, have thrown their weight behind a UNAIDS campaign to prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV. According to UNAIDS, almost 80 babies become infected with HIV during the 90-minute length of a single football match.

Brothers for Life

International soccer superstars like Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi are joining this South African campaign, which encourages men to take a stand against gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. The campaign promotes a national HIV testing drive on television, radio and outdoor advertising, launched by President Jacob Zuma in April.

Public Viewing in Africa

Technology giant Sony is partnering with the UN Development Programme and the Japan International Cooperation Agency to bring 20 World Cup matches to poor communities in Cameroon and Ghana, and offering HIV counselling and testing at the same time.

The World Cup in My Village

A pilot project by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Children's Radio Foundation and other community partners, to give young people access to World Cup matches in areas of Rwanda and Zambia where there is no electricity or broadcasting service.

Besides watching football, young people will be encouraged to participate in soccer games, educational activities promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and other community events. They will also be able to share their experiences with a wider audience through the use of flip cameras, laptops and recording devices.

South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS Condom Distribution Initiative

The initiative, in conjunction with the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa and other partners, will distribute condoms on a large scale to hotels and bed-and-breakfast accommodation, to be placed in more than 18,000 rooms.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Blog: Extra Time 

While the world focuses on football, the international medical charity's blog will remind people that the AIDS pandemic is far from over, and give MSF doctors, nurses, lay counsellors, football supporters and those living with HIV/AIDS the opportunity speak out about the pandemic.

The organization compared the diminished donor funding to fight HIVAIDS to "having the referee blow his whistle to stop the World Cup final match halfway through", and is encouraging the world to take a stand in support of universal access to treatment and care for all people living with HIV/AIDS. 

More on World Cup 2010:
 Safer sex for soccer fans and sex workers
 World Cup HIV prevention plans fall short
 World Cup poses risks to out-of-school kids
 Straight Talk with FIFA's Social Responsibility Head
Africa Goal Campaign

A team of volunteers are driving from Kenya through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland to South Africa, projecting live matches to poor communities along the way. Before every game, the team will show HIV and AIDS awareness videos selected to ensure that they are target specific and culturally sensitive.

Kenya World Cup Testing Drive, "Jitambue Leo" (discover yourself today, in Swahili)

The National AIDS and Sexually transmitted infections Control Programme (NASCOP) plans to set up at least three screens showing live World Cup matches in every rural constituency in Kenya, during which NASCOP and partners will offer HIV testing and counselling. Jitambue Leo hopes to test at least 33,000 people per day on the 33 days of the World Cup.

Football for Hope

The official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, aimed at creating 20 Football for Hope centres in disadvantaged communities across Africa to promote public health, education and football, and empower young people to protect themselves against the virus.

One of the centres is located in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha, which has one of the country's highest HIV and TB burdens; other centres are located in Mathare slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and Katutura in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

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Theme (s): Care/Treatment - PlusNews, Children, Economy, Education, Gender Issues, HIV/AIDS (PlusNews), Migration, Prevention - PlusNews, Urban Risk,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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