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All you need to know about HIV and AIDS in Brazil and how to make sure you come back from the World Cup with nothing more than happy memories.

Photography - KatielipsPhotography - Katielips 

The first case of AIDS was recorded in Brazil in 1982, and whilst many countries have struggled to curb the spread of HIV, Brazil’s response has been a success story with the Government working alongside civil society to aggressively tackle the spreads of the virus.

HIV infection rates are relatively low, although a bit higher than you will find in the UK. According to UNAIDS, by the end of 2011 there were approximately half a million people living with HIV in Brazil and around 15,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses were recorded in 2011.

Brazil has been a leader in providing effective treatment for people with the HIV virus, achieving universal access to life-saving anti-retroviral treatments by 2011.

However, this success story should not stop those travelling to World Cup from taking sensible measures to prevent infection from HIV or any other STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).

Take these simple precautions and you will have nothing other than great memories.

If you have sex with anyone make sure that the male partner is using a condom. You cannot tell just by looking at someone if he or she is HIV+. Using a condom (preservativo in Portuguese) will prevent infection by HIV and other STIs. Take some with you or buy some from a chemist once in Brazil.

As with other countries, there are some groups who are more at risk. These include sex workers, men who have sex with men, and intravenous drug users. Be especially careful if you have sexual relations with someone from the above group and make sure to use that condom! And if for some reason you decide to inject a drug then make sure you use a clean needle.

If you do happen to have unprotected sex or think you may have been exposed to HIV then go to a clinic and ask for PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis). The Brazilian health system is very good but you will need to pay for treatment so make sure you have good travel insurance before you set off.

Brazil is a wonderful country with friendly fun-loving people. Just be sensible, stay safe and enjoy!

For more information about HIV and AIDS please explore the HIVsport website where you will find a wealth of information about HIV. www.hivsport.org

Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013): HIVsport joins humanity in respect - 5.12.13

"Sport has the power to change the world" Nelson Mandela

The following is shared from exerpts of BBC news (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-10529266 )

Though at first muted in his approach to the issues surrounding HIV/Aids, Nelson Mandela eventually became a dedicated and extremely effective advocate for a more vigorous approach to the disease.

When Mr Mandela was released from prison in February 1990, HIV/Aids had yet to make its full impact on South Africa. Following his election as president four years later, Mr Mandela faced huge challenges and - like so many other world leaders at the time - failed to fully understand the depth of the problem and did little to help those with Aids.

After Mr Mandela left office in 1999, he campaigned for more research into HIV/Aids, for education about safe sex and for better treatment for those affected. On World Aids Day in 2000, he sent out a hard-hitting message, saying:

"We are facing a silent and invisible enemy that is threatening the very fabric of our society."

In November 2003, Mr Mandela - and his Nelson Mandela Foundation - stepped up the campaign, launching an HIV/Aids fundraising campaign called 46664, after his prison number on Robben Island.

The campaign received a further boost in 2005, when Mr Mandela shocked the nation by announcing that his son, Makgatho, had died of Aids.

He urged people to talk about HIV/Aids "to make it appear like a normal illness". 

HIVsport fundraiser of the year: John Fitzpatrick - 27.11.13

John crossing the finishing line

Between June 8th and 16th this year, John Fitzpatrick took part in the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’. Billed as the UK’s ultimate cycle challenge, this sporting journey takes riders from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 9 days. John’s outstanding sporting efforts raised £755.39 in donations from his family, friends and colleagues for HIVsport. A BIG THANK YOU from all of us at HIVsport for a brilliant achievement John and also to all who supported you to help us continue our work.

 

HIVsport's Badges of Hope

To mark the occasion of World AIDS Day, the League Managers Association is once again supporting the annual HIVsport World AIDS Day campaign to raise awareness of the global threat of HIV and AIDS.

To support the campaign the LMA send the HIVsport red ribbon ‘Footbball Badge of Hope’ to all 92 league managers asking them to wear the badge over the World AIDS Day period to show their support for the 33 million people living with HIV and AIDS across the world.

HIVsport's 'Badge of Hope' campaign in it's seventh year

Andy Harvey of HIVsport said, ‘For the past seven years the football managers and their association have shown magnificent support in helping to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. Every manager who chooses to wear the badge does so voluntarily and this is an incredibly powerful message of hope they give to everyone around the world who is affected by HIV and AIDS.’

Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, says. ‘We are delighted once again to support this important campaign and to show that the football world can help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS at this time of year’.

World AIDS Day

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day (WAD) is about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. It has become one of the most recognised international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

According to UNAIDS statistics there are approximately 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS across the world, the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. However, HIV is present in every country in the world and remains a global health threat. There are approximately 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK, with one in five of those infected not knowing their status.

 

HIV in the United Kingdom: 2013 report  published by Public Health England -  19.11.13

 HIV virus

According to UNAIDS statistics there are approximately 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS across the world, the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa. However, HIV is present in every country in the world and remains a global health threat. There are approximately 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK.

An estimated 98,400 (93,500-104,300) people were living with HIV in the UK in 2012. The overall prevalence was 1.5 per 1,000 population (1.0 in women and 2.1 in men). An estimated 21,900 people living with HIV were unaware of their infection in 2012.

There were 490 deaths among people with an HIV infection in 2012, a continuation of the decline since the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Those diagnosed with HIV late (CD4 count <350 cells/mm3) continued to have a ten-fold increased risk of death in the first year of diagnosis compared to those diagnosed early.

HIVsport partners with Durex to launch global campaign to create an HIV‐free generation - 26.11.12

 For World AIDS Day (1 December 2012), Durex is launching #1share1condom – a global social media campaign to raise awareness about HIV and see Durex donate condoms to HIV prevention programmes across the world.

The campaign launched on 26th November and the brand is encouraging the public to share information about HIV on Twitter, Facebook and Renren and is pledging to donate a condom on behalf of every person who does so.

Participants can simply share a message about HIV using the Twitter hash tag #1share1condom or share the Durex World Aids Day images on Durex Facebook pages to their wall and a Durex condom will automatically be donated.

Even after many years in the fight against HIV and AIDS, the transmission of HIV is still a global issue. According to UNAIDS, 2.5 million people were newly-infected with HIV last year and Durex has symbolically set its condom donation target at 2.5 million which it hopes to reach by the end of World AIDS Day.

Durex is working together with HIVsport and other HIV prevention organisations globally to help create an HIV‐free generation and the Durex condoms will be donated to global and local charities involved in HIV prevention and education projects in more than 40 countries around the world.

Dr David Hawkins, Chair of HIVsport, said:

“HIVsport welcomes this bold and innovative initiative that will direct condom provision to frontline organisations working across the globe. We will be actively engaging our associates in sport across this World AIDS Day to encourage support of the #1SHARE1CONDOM campaign".

Durex believes that encouraging global communication of information about HIV and how it can be prevented, combined with equipping key prevention programmes globally with quality condoms, will help to bring the goal of an HIV-free generation a step closer.

Volker Sydow, global category director for Durex, said:

“Durex is committed to improving knowledge and understanding of HIV and raising awareness of how to prevent HIV transmission. We’ve supported the fight against HIV for many years, mainly through local projects. This year we decided to use our global market presence to create an initiative that will get the world talking and sharing.”

To find out more about how to support the campaign and to learn more about HIV, visit

www.1Share1Condom.com

HIV positive medal winner - 30.08.12

Australian Olympian Ji Wallace has publicly revealed his HIV status in a letter sent to the Star Observer.

Wallace, a trampolinist who won a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, said he was inspired to make the public admission about his diagnosis after seeing an interview given by US diver Greg Louganis about his battle with HIV and being a gay Olympian.

“I have been contemplating writing this for a while,” Wallace said.

“I caught a CNN Piers Morgan interview with Greg Louganis here in London. It made me think and think and I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote.

”Louganis won four gold and a silver medal at the Olympics between 1976 and 1988 before coming out as both gay and HIV-positive in a 1995 autobiography.

“I felt inspired to write. I too am an Olympic medal winner living with HIV,” Wallace said.

“I have never publicly disclosed this before but felt inspired by [the] interview… and by Anderson Cooper’s ‘coming out’ letter last month describing ‘value in being seen and heard’ in the face of disturbing violence, bullying, persecution and condemnation by peers, colleagues, government officials and worst of all family and friends.

“I too have been that victim of these atrocious behaviours. Luckily I managed to come through."

Out and proud

Wallace is in London to view the men’s trampoline event and as the guest of honour at several functions with the Olympic Pride House for LGBTI athletes.

“I am doing it to raise awareness of this issue. It is still here,” Wallace told the Star Observer.

“Being seen does have value. A voice does have value. I have the support of my boyfriend, my great friends and my loving parents. Many do not and this is, in part, for them.”

The Paralympics: Social and Medical Model of Disability? - 29.08.12

The following is paraphrased from a web posting by Danny West. For the full editorial follow link below.

Living with HIV remains a highly stigmatised health condition. HIV raises all the taboos in society, which creates discomfort and fear. Society on the whole holds prejudiced and stereotyped views of people living with HIV as it does about disability. During the recent Olympic Games an Australian Gymnast had the courage and integrity to be open about living with HIV…HIVsport applauds Danny’s editorial and Australian Olympian Ji Wallace’s courage.

Hop, skip and jump for 'unofficial' condoms: London 2012 to investigate - 07.08.12

Kangaroo condoms

London 2012 are looking into how a bucket of unofficial condoms found its way into the athletes' village without official consent.

The London Olympic organisers have provided 150,000 free condoms for the 10,800 athletes at the Games, supplied by Durex which paid for the supply rights.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said they were trying to find out who distributed the Kangaroo condoms from Durex's rivals Ansell Ltd, an Australian company, and Pasante, a private British firm.

Organisers tightly control which brands can be promoted at the Games, striking sponsorship deals with a limited number of companies and trying to stop non-sponsors from getting free publicity on the back of the Olympics.

A spokeswoman for Ansell said her company knew nothing about the issue and it could well be a prank. "We have had no official participation or association with the Olympics at all," she said.

Lawrence Boon, the managing director of Pasante, said his company had no involvement with the distribution of condoms in the athletes' village.

A Durex spokeswoman said the company was "proud to be supplying free condoms for the Olympics Games" but declined to elaborate further.

More condoms than ever before

Fifty percent more condoms have been supplied by Durex to athletes in London, topping the 100,000 made available to athletes in Beijing four years ago. In Sydney in 2000 organisers had to order 20,000 more condoms after the initial allocation of 70,000 ran out.

Planning for a safe Games

With week two of the Games well underway, how is our sexual health being supported?

Only anecdotal evidence exists about increased demand for sexual health services as a result of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games or other large sporting events such as the World Cup. In London and Weymouth and Portland this summer, sexual health data is being collected that hopes, for the first time, to document the impact (if any) of major sporting events on sexual health.

A rise in sexually transmitted diseases is not an Olympic legacy anyone wants – which is why NHS London and the London Sexual Health Programme are working with sexual health services across the city and beyond to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Key messages

The key messages around sexual health that will appear on materials about staying healthy during the Games are:

  • Carrying condoms with you and using them all the time and every time you have sex will help protect against STIs, HIV and pregnancy.
  • If you are worried about unplanned pregnancy, STIs or HIV, visit a pharmacy or check on NHS Choices for information about local sexual health services and treatment.
  • Early testing and treatment for HIV can help survival rates. An estimated one in four people who have HIV do not know they have it. Have a test.

Additional condoms

In response to the potential threat to the sexual health of Londoners and visitors, NHS London and the Pan London HIV Prevention Programme are increasing distribution of condoms and lube. They have been purchased through the Freedom Condoms Scheme.

Over the Games period almost 500,000 additional condoms with lube will be given away at live sites, other festivals, events and ‘hot spots’ for sexual activity around the capital.

There are two distribution programmes running in tandem – one to the general public and another to gay men, who will be given specially branded Freedoms boxes of condoms and lube.

Summer Lovin'

NHS Choices is the main vehicle for sexual health messaging and signposting to services during the Games and the NHS Choices London 2012 website address is included on the branded condom/lube packs and an associated "Summer Lovin'" condom sexual health promotion campaign.

This vibrant new poster campaign themed around the Union Flag highlights the need to use a condom to protect against HIV and STIs and to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The Summer Lovin’ London campaign’s posters and postcards include a reminder that NHS pharmacists have an important role to play in directing people to sexual health services during the Games. One of the key health messages for the general public is that they should visit a pharmacist if they are asymptomatic but concerned about their sexual health.

The poster campaign has been adapted for use at the Olympic sailing venues in Weymouth and Portland, and generic ones are available for other areas which are hosting, or are near to, Olympic activities.

Printed versions of the A4 poster and A6 flyer Summer Lovin’ London version have been distributed with condoms and lubricant. The materials have been adapted from an original campaign by the Terrence Higgins Trust. Please click here to download the poster.

Sexual health services free to overseas visitors

Overseas visitors will receive information about staying healthy before and during the Games, and directed to NHS Choices for more information. As at any other time overseas visitors can access sexual health services free of charge. However, any medical follow-up service required will be chargeable.

Sex Factor Ideas 2012 - Call for Action

This is a personal request for your involvement in helping young people submit ideas to theSex Factor Ideas 2012 competition. We know that a lot of you do some excellent work directly with young people and we're calling on you to devote just one hour to workshopping and filming some ideas with them. London’s FESHyouthNET members and have put some example ideas up on the  Sex Factor YouTube account. It's easy and it's fun! There is a template for this workshop. Please email jennifer.reiter@mbarc.co.uk if you'd like that template. We want as many young people as possible to be represented in the submissions -ideas that use sport are being encouraged - so HIVsport is asking you to take a hands-on direct approach to getting young people's ideas online.

What young people must do is submit an idea on video to our Sex Factor YouTube. The idea can be for a campaign, poster, web site, advert, etc. that addresses a sexual health issue. They can either film themselves describing the idea, put it into PowerPoint and film that or write their idea out on paper and film those! See this one from Ambassador Emmanuel who filmed himself discussing an advert and see this one from Youth Ambassador Chrisline whofilmed her PowerPoint describing her idea. We hope these videos show just how easy it is to submit an idea - plus the prize of having your idea made into reality is quite exciting!

It is really easy to submit a video to YouTube. You can do it for any young people you work with or they can do it themselves:

  1. Go to our announcement video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjfA7p0mYvY
  2. On the bottom, in the comments box, click in it to "create a video response"
  3. Click "upload a video"
  4. Press "start" to upload a video from your computer
  5. Please title, describe and tag your video

The deadlines have been extended to facilitate your support with your young people. Videos can now be uploaded through Monday, October 31.

Those who upload their videos will be messaged on YouTube by MBARC to find out their postcode as they need to group them into the six new NHS London clusters.
 
If you know of any young people and have an hour to spend workshopping an idea with them, we ask that you please do this over the next three weeks.

Please contact us with any questions or support from us you'd like in helping young people create ideas. We're here to help!

Thank you,

HIVsport and the MBARC Sexual Health Team

board@hivsport.org

HIV and Sport - Competition launches

Objective

HIVsport is in a European partnership funded by EuropeAid. Our lead partner is the Open Education Centre Foundation in Bulgaria. The objective of this project is to encourage young people and educators from Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and the UK) and Southern Africa to take action to deal with problems in their communities in support of realisation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Seewww.un.org/millenniumgoals 

About HIVsport 
HIVsport uses the ‘Badge of Hope’ to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and promote sexual health and wellbeing in sport. The organisation works in partnership with professional sporting associations, umbrella HIV and sexual health organisations, the media, medical and corporate bodies to:

  • Create, through sport, greater public awareness of the global epidemic of HIV and AIDs
  • Provide education and training to people in all roles in sport around HIV and sexual health
  • Support sports-related HIV and sexual health education projects

The Brief 
In a maximum of 300 words tell us your idea for a 5 minute short film that will show how sport can raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. This can be interpreted in any way you choose, keeping in mind that the purpose of this film is to be used to educate young people in Europe and Southern Africa. A simple budget for the production costs will need to accompany each proposal. Some guidance is provided for this below. Ideas must be submitted in English and should be inspirational, thought provoking and innovative. 

Some ideas that you may wish to think about include:

  • A film that shows how sport has helped someone with HIV.
  • A film that shows how a community sports project is helping to raise awareness of HIV among young people.
  • A film showing how a leading sports person has inspired others.

The judging will take place in two rounds:

  1. Initially ten finalist ideas will be awarded 500 Euros each (50% up-front, balance due when film received) to produce a short film which will then be judged by the panel.
  2. In the second round of judging, five final short films will be chosen and be brought together by a British film maker to create one 40 minute documentary.

All films must use spoken or subtitled English. The documentary will be premiered in London and then shown in Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Southern Africa and will feature on YouTube, www.hivsport.org and partner websites. 

Closing Date Round One (Ideas and budgets only) 
27th May 2011 
You must submit your 300 word idea and outline budget by 27th May 2011. In this round we will be judging your idea and reviewing your budget. The best ten ideas will go forward to the next round. It is intended to select eight films from film-makers in Africa and two films from film-makers in Europe. 

Notification of awards to ten finalists 
20th June 2011. 
If you are judged to have been selected to receive an award to make a film you will be notified by e-mail by 20th June 2011. You will be given feedback on your idea, further guidance and instructions on how to submit your film at this point. Unsuccessful entrants will also be informed of the judges’ decision. 

Closing Date Second Round Finalists (Ten finalist short films to be submitted) 
22nd July 2011 
You must submit your 5 minute film by this date. Please note that the second tranche of 250 Euros and entry into the final round to feature in the final documentary and to win further prizes can only be made once films are submitted. 

Judging 
Judging of films will take place within one month of the closing date. A 30 minute documentary will be professionally produced using the 5 films that were judged the best. At least four films from southern Africa will be featured in the final documentary. Notification of film screenings and prize-giving ceremony for best films will be announced at a later date. 

Notification of winners 
The five filmmakers judged to have made the best films will be notified by end of August 2011. It is intended that the final documentary will be produced by mid September 2011.

Final Documentary Prizes 
Each of the final five winning short films will receive an additional prize as follows:

  1. One overall 1st prize of 300 Euros each and certificate of commendation
  2. Four Runners-up of 175 Euros each and certificate of commendation

How to enter 
Please e-mail your 300 word idea together with your name and educational institution or other community group contact details (including an email address) to:stephen.bitti@hivsport.org by 27th May 2011. 

Eligibility 
Anyone between the age of 14 and 19 in full or part-time education may enter. Group entries are permitted, but only one prize will be awarded per winning entry. Your entry will need to be supported by an educational institution or community group that has a bank account able to receive funds from the UK. Please provide full details of the College, community group or other appropriate organisation that is supporting your project.

Technical requirements 
All film entries will be required to be QuickTime compatible and capable of being loaded to YOUTUBE (MPEG4, and MOV files, WMV or FLV). Finalists should also be expected to submit on DVD if required. 

Budget 
Please note that all ten finalist ideas will receive a flat fee of 500 Euros each in order to make your 5 minute film. This will be divided into a 250 Euro fee upfront – i.e. before you start, and a further 250 Euros on receipt of your film. It is essential that you are able to budget within this arrangement. The purpose of this template is to allow you to think about your costs and to make sure you keep within your budget. We are looking for films of the highest quality that the resources allow. This does not necessarily mean you have to spend the full 500 Euros but you should make sure that the technical quality of your film is good enough to be shown to an international audience. 

When you submit your 300 word proposal you should also submit an outline budget of the costs you will incur in producing your film. This should include things like:

  • Equipment hire (e.g. camera)
  • Travel (if you need to go somewhere to make your film)
  • Food and subsistence (up to 25 Euros per person per day) 
  • Accommodation (if you need to stay overnight somewhere when making your film)
  • Other costs (please specify)

Enquiries Please contact Stephen Bitti at HIVsport: stephen.bitti@hivsport.org or Andy Harvey at HIVsport: andrew.harvey@hivsport.org 

Entry to this competition is restricted to entrants between 14 and 19 years of age, who are in education. Names of winners will be posted on the HIVsport website. Upon entry of this competition, the winners hereby grant permission for their names and winning entries to be used by HIVsport for promotional purposes. If the winner of a prize is unable to take up this prize for any reason, HIVsport reserves the right to award it to an alternative winner. The judges’ decision is final and it is a condition of entry to this competition that the entrant agrees to be bound by these rules and that the decisions of HIVsport and the judges on any matter whatsoever arising out of or connected with the competition are final. This competition is open to residents of African countries, UK, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and only.

World AIDS Day 2011, League Managers Association once again joins forces with HIVsport

To mark the occasion of World AIDS Day, the League Managers Association is once again supporting the annual HIVsport World AIDS Day campaign to raise awareness of the global threat of HIV and AIDS.

All 92 league managers have been sent the HIVsport red ribbon ‘Badge of Hope’ and asked by the LMA to wear the badge over the World AIDS Day period to show their support for the 33 million people living with HIV and AIDS across the world. Andy Harvey, Chair of HIVsport said, ‘For the past five years the football managers and their association have shown magnificent support in helping to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. 

Every manager who chooses to wear the badge does so voluntarily and this is an incredibly powerful message of hope they give to everyone around the world who is affected by HIV and AIDS.’ Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA, says. ‘We are delighted once again to support this important campaign and to show that the football world can help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS at this time of year’. 

HIVsport meets Sri Lanka cricket star, Kumar Sangakarra 

HIVsport's Andy Harvey met with Sri Lanka cricket star, Kumar Sangakarra, at the offices of the Terence Higgins Trust on Wednesday 1st June 2011. At the meeting Kumar Sangakarra told us about his work as a UNAIDS Ambassador and his role in raising awareness of HIV and AIDS through sport. A full report of the meeting can be found in The Guardian for 2nd June 2011. 

View article: The Guardian & THT Website

HIVsport is shocked and saddened at the news of the tragically premature death of David Cairns MP

'HIVsport is shocked and saddened at the news of the tragically premature death of David Cairns MP. David was not only a friend of HIVsport as an organisation but also a personal friend of many of us as well.

We are grateful for his support as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS. We particularly remember his support for the football match we organised between the United Nations Workers and the Parliamentary team last December to commemorate World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day 2010: HIVsport works with League Managers Association on ‘Badge of Hope’ campaign

Once again we were delighted to work in partnership with the League Managers on our annual ‘Badge of Hope’ World AIDS Day Campaign which began in 2007.

The LMA kindly asked all 92 working League Managers to wear the HIVsport badge over the World AIDS Day period to show their support for people living with HIV/AIDS across the world. 

If you've seen your team's manager wearing the 'Badge of Hope' please drop us an e-mail at board@hivsport.org

World AIDS Day 2010: HIVsport welcomes the United Nations Workers Football team to the UK

We were proud to support the United Nations Workers football tour that took place at the end of November. Matches were played in different venues in order to raise awareness of the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS across the world.

The fixture list played:

  • Saturday 27th November  versus  Oxford University Football Association. Venue: Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1EQ.  Kick off: 2pm.
    Final Score: 0 - 8
  • Sunday 28th November  versus Cambridge University Football Club. Venue: Fenners Cricket Ground, CB1 2EL. Kick off: 2pm.
    Final Score: Cancelled
  • Monday 29th November  versus The Trades Union Congress: Venue: Market Road, Islington, N7 9PL. Kick off: 2pm.
    Final Score: 4 -1
  • Tuesday 30th November  versus  The UK Parliamentary Football Club.  Venue: Burton Court, London, SW3 4QG. Kick off: 10 am.
    Final Score: 4 -1

To learn more about S'porting Lives programme and this truly unique sporting event by the UN Workers Football Team UK Tour, visit: http://www.icty.org/x/file/Press/PR_attachments/sportinglives.pdf

Kicking HIV into touch

TackleAfrica has just received a £1,000 boost thanks to a special initiative designed to highlight the importance of sexual health during the World Cup.

The money was donated to TackleAfrica – a UK charity that uses football to teach young people in Africa about HIV and AIDS.

It was raised through the sale of a signed England 2010 World Cup shirt, which had been donated by the FA before this summer's World Cup as part of the Keep a Clean Sheet (KACS) campaign.

The KACS website (www.keepacleansheet.co.uk) – which was targeted at British football fans travelling to South Africa – was created by a partnership of Durex, the APPG on HIV and AIDS and HIVsport, and aimed to help raise awareness of HIV and other STIs.
The partners agreed that the shirt would be sold and the proceeds donated to a charity that uses football to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in Africa. The shirt was purchased by Durex and will be displayed at their premises.

Charles Shepherd, head of health promotion at Durex, said: "Figures recently released show that at last there are signs that the number of people infected with HIV worldwide is beginning to decrease. But it is essential that the work in education and health promotion continues, and World AIDS Day is an excellent way to highlight the many ways in which HIV can affect people.

"We are delighted that the proceeds will go to help such an innovative initiative in Africa that combines football and HIV education."

KACS was the brainchild of Durex, the APPG on HIV and AIDS and HIVsport.
The KACS site was launched at a reception at Portcullis House just before the World Cup which was attended by around 30 MPs, as well as the High Commissioner for South Africa and Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham.

TackleAfrica is one of HIVsport's SportCares Partners. For more information on the organisation and their work visit: http://tackleafrica.org/

World AIDS Day 2010: HIVsport Leadership Programme for Africa - Fundraising update

HIVsport got some fresh air this November raising funds for our Leadership Programme for Africa through sponsorship and other events leading up to World AIDS Day this year on Wednesday 1st December.

One mile fun-draising 'hobble'
In support of his HIVsport colleagues, Andy Harvey and Kris Irwin who ran the Grand Union Canal Half-marathon, Stephen Bitti (after dislocating a toe) completed a fun-draising 1 mile hobble (1.4 mile actually) from the UK Houses of Parliament to Oxford Circus on Sunday 21st November - in HIV awareness raising fancy dress.

Supporters of this 'hobble' have raised over £500 towards the HIVsport Leadership Programme for Africa which will help young people to lead healthier and more productive lives. HIVsport are grateful for your support. Thank You!

Grand Union Canal Half-marathon
Also out there raising funds in the run up to World AIDS Day (excuse the pun) for the HIVsport Leadership Programme for Africa, were Andy Harvey and Kris Irwin running the Grand Union Canal Half-marathon on Sunday 14th November.

Supporters of this run raised over £1,000 towards the HIVsport Leadership programme for Africa which will help young people to lead healthier and more productive lives.
Again, HIVsport are grateful for your support. Thank You!

About the HIVsport Leadership Programme
SportCares partners (TackleAfrica, Grassroots Soccer and Africaid) have developed comprehensive curricula that articulate how sport is used to deliver HIV/AIDS prevention education.

Democratic, strong and effective management and leadership at the local level is an essential component for communities in developing countries to be able to take ownership of their own strategies for growth and improvement.

Leaders drawn from local communities are in a unique position to positively affect the lives of young people, especially in the fields of education, gender equality, health and well-being. The leadership programme will focus on sports projects that aim to improve health and well-being in general and for HIV prevention in particular.

Young leaders will benefit from a sports leadership programme that with support from appropriate 'on the ground' stakeholders will facilitate a nurturing environment and further embed and sustain work already introduced by SportCares partners.

Keep A Clean Sheet and more

On 2 June, a cross-party group of MPs, HIVsport and Durex with the support of the Foreign Office and the Terrence Higgins Trust launched www.keepacleansheet.co.uk - designed to inform fans about HIV and other STIs during the World Cup in South Africa.

This collaborative website also offers advice for those who won’t be travelling to South Africa, as fans watching the World Cup at home or travelling to other countries could also be at risk. Recent research has found that nearly one in ten 18-34 year-olds in the UK drink so much while watching sporting events, in person or on TV, that they can’t remember what they did afterwards.

More about South Africa
For a quick ‘South African’ guide to everything you need to know about South Africa before you get there, check out SouthAfrica.info - Gateway to the Nation

More about the football
To make sure you don’t miss out on any World Cup announcements from the Football Association, visit their official web site with history, general information, and contact details.

And why not stay updated through the official website for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™  where its features, news, information about venues, photo gallery, and organizing committee details will keep you as well informed about ‘the game’ in South Africa as you now are about ‘safer sex’ too!

More about HIV/AIDS and sexual health
HIVsport recommends the following websites for more detailed information on HIV/AIDS and sexual health.

AVERT: www.avert.org
National AIDS Manual: www.aidsmap.com
 

HIV, STIs, South Africa and the 2010 World Cup

Things you need to know about HIV, STIs and sexual health services in South Africa

If you’re going to be one of the thousands of British football fans supporting England in South Africa this June and July it’s going to be a fantastic experience.

So that you can have fun and come home fit and healthy, HIVsport has spoken with professionals both at home and away to provide you with some down-to-earth information about HIV, STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and sexual health services in South Africa (should you need them).

South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world, with roughly 1 in 5 adults infected. Compare this figure to about 1 in 500 people in the UK and you can easily see that every day in South Africa you will be meeting lots of people who are living with HIV.

Remember, you cannot catch HIV by talking to someone, shaking their hand, sharing a glass, or using the toilet but you can if you have sex without using a condom with someone who is HIV positive. There are however a couple of other ways of catching HIV. If you want to find out more about these read ‘How HIV can be transmitted’ in the box at the bottom of this page).

How to avoid getting or passing on HIV and STIs 

You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have HIV, so it’s important to take responsibility for yourself, respect your partner and make sure you use a condom each time you have sex.

However, this advice is not just for guys. So if you’re a female football fan, it would be good to pack female condoms as they are sometimes hard to get hold of in South Africa.

It’s worth remembering that many people in South Africa are unaware if they are infected with HIV and you should not rely on what other people tell you about their HIV status - sometimes incorrect information is given due to concerns about stigma and other issues.  SO ALWAYS USE CONDOMS.
 
If you do get exposed to HIV when you are away, then without taking an HIV test you may not know about it until many years later. During this time, you may unknowingly pass the virus on to your partner or to other people you have sex with when you get back to the UK. This is how HIV gets transmitted and is something we need to work on together to prevent.

Along with HIV there is a high prevalence of other STIs in South Africa and as STIs are much easier to catch than HIV over a short number of sexual episodes, you should go to see a private doctor or visit a public sector clinic for STIs as soon as possible if you’re worried about a risky sexual experience.

The World Cup is going to bring tens of thousands of visitors to South Africa from across the world and the South African people will welcome you and be wonderful hosts.  For those of you that will be out and about having fun in bars and clubs (as no doubt you will be) you will meet many new people. It may be that you ‘hit it off’ with someone and go back to your hotel or their place for sex. This is when you need to be careful and make sure you use a condom to protect yourself from HIV or other STIs so you don’t come back home with anything other than good memories (and hopefully the World Cup of course).

Remember, all this advice applies both ways. Visiting fans who don’t know they are infected with HIV or an STI may travel to South Africa this summer and unknowingly put others at risk. This is another good reason to use condoms during sex to respect and protect the local population and other visitors during your stay.

So what do you need to do if you think you might be having sex with new partners when away? Here are some helpful simple tips:

1. Pack a good number of condoms in your luggage. If this is awkward because you don’t want a partner back home to see them, then buy some at the airport before you get on the plane. There will be plenty of condoms available in South Africa but it is best to have them with you before you leave.

2. Always take a pack or two of condoms with you when you go out to bars and clubs. There is no point having them in your luggage if you end up going back to someone else’s place and they don’t have any.

3. Remember, many people are living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, so please make sure you USE A CONDOM ALL THE TIME AND EVERY TIME YOU HAVE SEX. It's a sign of respect for yourself and others. HIV does not discriminate so neither should you.

That’s it! Simple as can be, but a potential life-saver and just as important it will mean peace of mind and no problems with the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or whoever when you get back home. This is not to say that you have to have sex when you go to the World Cup, but is just vital, common sense information if you do.    

What to do if I forget to use a condom?

Get medical help immediately!  There is still a chance you can stop HIV infection happening provided you start a course of treatment known as PEP (short for Post Exposure Prophylaxis) within 72 HOURS after exposure - in fact, the sooner the better within this window of opportunity. If you leave it more than 72 hours (that’s 3 days) then PEP stands no chance of working. You need to start PEP, which is basically a 4-week course of treatment of anti-HIV drugs, as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the less chance there is of success in preventing HIV infection.  Please be aware that PEP is not always 100% successful in preventing HIV but it is the best option possible if you find yourself in a situation where you may have been exposed.

Where can I get PEP? 

 PEP will only be available at state institutions after sexual assault, not any other exposure. Access to PEP in situations other than this (such as having sex without a condom or if the condom breaks during sex) is most likely to be through local private casualty hospitals (most doctors will give it out, but at their discretion; HIVsport was advised that a prescription costs around $20-40).

As you will need to start PEP in South Africa, you will need to go to a clinic immediately to get the drugs and you will need to take the whole course of treatment as instructed. Missing doses is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the drugs.

World Cup venues will have information about the location of the local Accident and Emergency Department and local private casualty hospitals.

As soon as you get back home to the UK, make sure you visit your local sexual health/HIV clinic and explain your situation to a medical professional. The nurse or doctor will then be able to advise you what to do next. Remember, all NHS sexual health/HIV clinics in the UK offer you a free and confidential service, so don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what happened, as this will help them take care of you. 

You can also call a sexual health helpline if you’ve had sex without a condom or the condom breaks during sex. They will be able to provide you with basic information and where the nearest clinic is for further advice.

Recommended helpline numbers are:

The National AIDS Helpline (0800-012-322) provides a confidential, anonymous 24-hour toll-free telephone counselling, information and referral service for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.

HIV-911 www.hiv911.org.za is your comprehensive guide to HIV and AIDS-related support services in South Africa.

HIV positive fans

If you are an HIV positive football fan travelling to South Africa to enjoy the World Cup this summer, there are common illnesses like Tuberculosis (TB), and Food-borne diarrhoeal diseases that you should be aware of. TB in South Africa is really the biggest risk for HIV positive people and HIVsport strongly recommends you consult your medical practitioner to check what health precautions may be necessary for you before you travel and during your stay. The football stadia are the least of the risk - simply wandering into a local supermarket or South African household may expose you to TB. For further information about potential public health risks download A Guide for 2010 FIFA World Cup Visitors to South Africa produced by The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

 If you are already on HIV treatment, ensure that you have a good supply of your medication with you for the full length of your stay. You may consider carrying your medication in your hand luggage for easy access. It may also be useful to take a letter from your doctor listing the medication you are carrying and that they have been prescribed for your use. In fact, it might be a good idea to take extra just in case your departure is delayed.

Whether you are HIV positive or not, HIVsport also recommends you get travel insurance before you leave - this is very important as there can be long queues in public clinics.  Many South Africans use private healthcare insurance and access the private sector. 



Finally

HIVsport wishes all England supporters (and fans of other countries), a fun time in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. It should be a great experience and one you will never forget.

Whether you are watching the football this summer at home or abroad, HIVsport wants you to have fun, stay safe, and make sure HIV and STIs are not part of your World Cup experience.

While every care is taken in preparing this information, HIVsport does not assume any responsibility, including legal responsibility, to those who read this guidance and who may choose to take it into account when making any decisions relating to their time in South Africa or at any other time... HIVsport cannot accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained in ‘HIV, South Africa and the World Cup’as it is just intended as guidance, and is not a substitute for professional advice.

How HIV is transmitted

There are only four ways in which HIV can be transmitted from one person to another:

1. Sex without a condom

This is by far the most common means of transmission and straight couples are equally at risk as gay partners. HIV does not discriminate in this way. Condoms are currently the best way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV or giving it to someone else during sex. HIVSport believes that young people and adults are able to make their own decisions about who they have sex with, but we firmly believe that all choices must be with respect to your own health and the health of your partner. Using a condom is a mark of respect.

2. Drug injection with a contaminated needle

Sharing needles is high risk behaviour and a potential cause of HIV transmission. If, for any reason, you are injecting steroids (or any other drug) then you should always use a clean needle and dispose of it safely after use. There is a very small risk of a needle-stick injury resulting in HIV transmission which is why all needles must be safely handled and disposed of. HIVSport does not condone the taking of illegal or non-prescribed drugs.

3. Blood and blood products

Due to advances in medical screening, there is negligible risk that transmission could occur through a blood transfusion or during an organ transplant. However, virtually every country now has effective screening mechanisms to ensure that this does not happen and is no reason not to undergo surgery or to have a transfusion when recommended by a qualified physician.

4. Mother to Child Transmission

Children can become infected from their mother at childbirth or through breastfeeding. However, this risk can be prevented provided the mother’s HIV status is known in advance.

HIV CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED BY SHAKING HANDS, SHARING CUTLERY OR GLASSES, USING TOILET FACILITIES OR IN ANY OTHER WAY.

 

Key facts on 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa

Geography
South Africa is situated at the southern tip of Africa, with almost 2,800 kilometres of coastline from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. At 1.22 million square kilometres it is roughly the size of France, Italy and Spain combined.

It is bordered to the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, to the east by Mozambique and Swaziland and encircles the kingdom of Lesotho.

The country is divided into nine provinces, with Gauteng, which includes industrial and financial centre Johannesburg and capital Pretoria, being the smallest by land size but the richest and most populated. It is also home to three of the 10 stadiums for the World Cup.

Johannesburg is the largest city with 9 million people.

Cape Town, in the southwest, is the biggest tourist draw and will host a semi-final within sight of famous Table Mountain. 

People
49.32 million people, largely housed in the northern and western parts of the country. South Africa also hosts millions of immigrants and refugees from other African countries, lured by its relative wealth and open-door policy.

South Africa has 11 official languages and while English is the main one for business, it is only the fifth most commonly spoken. The others are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Tsonga, Swazi, Venda and Southern Ndebele. 

Just under 80 percent of the population is black, with whites and mixed-race "coloureds" making up about nine percent each and Asian about 2.6 percent. Wealth is still skewed in the hands of the white population 16 years after apartheid ended.

Nearly a third of the population is under the age of 15 and almost 70 percent under 35.

Economy
Nominal GDP was 2.4 trillion rand at the end of 2009, about $320 million, making it Africa's biggest economy.

Annual GDP per capita is about $6,300.

South Africa's economy emerged from its first recession in 17 years in the third quarter of 2009, after averaging around five percent growth a year for the previous five years. The economy contracted 1.8 percent last year.

Economists say the World Cup will add between 0.3 and 0.7 percentage points to economic growth this year. Forecasts of growth for 2010 are between 2.3 and 3.0 percent.

Accounting group Grant Thornton estimates an expected 373,000 foreigners -- about 100,000 from other African countries -- should inject 13 billion rand into the economy during the month-long tournament.

National and regional government and city councils have spent about 40 billion rand to prepare for the event.

The government and its utilities are to spend 846 billion rand over the next three years to boost infrastructure, including a huge upgrade of roads and highways around major cities and a fast rail system linking Johannesburg's airport, financial centre Sandton and Pretoria.

However, only one section of the "Gautrain" will be finished in time for the tournament, linking the airport to Sandton, an affluent suburb.

South Africa is mineral-rich, producing about 75 percent of the world's platinum, and remains a major producer of gold despite output falling sharply over the past two decades.

Unemployment is a major problem, with the official jobless rate climbing to 25.2 percent at the end of March. The high jobless rate is seen as a catalyst for high levels of crime.

Tourism is an important source of income, with more than 10 million foreigners visiting in 2009, an increase of 3.8 percent on the previous year despite a weak global economy.

Officials hope a successful World Cup will attract millions more visitors over the next five years, lured by sprawling game parks and white, sandy beaches.

Politics
Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, which led the country out of apartheid in 1994, has dominated power ever since, although it has internal divisions. President Jacob Zuma, the fourth head of state in democratic South Africa, has courted controversy because of his polygamous marriages and extra-marital affairs.

Main issues
AIDS: South Africa, with more than five million people estimated to be infected with HIV, has the world's largest AIDS caseload.

POVERTY: Life expectancy at birth is 53.5 years for males and 57.2 years for females. The latest U.N. Human Development Report ranks South Africa at 129 of 182 countries.

CRIME: South Africa has some of the highest rates of murder and rape in the world. There were 18,143 murders in 2008/9, more than 35,000 reported rapes and around 15,000 carjackings.

ENERGY: A chronic energy shortfall affected the country in 2008, cutting production in the key mining sector and regularly plunged millions of homes into darkness last year. Ageing infrastructure and cable theft often leave swathes of Johannesburg in the dark.

Utility Eskom and the World Cup's local organising committee have vowed, though, that there will not be disruptions during the tournament, with huge diesel generators at all stadiums.

Weather
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, meaning this will be the first winter World Cup since Argentina in 1978.

Temperatures and rainfall vary between the Highveld region of Johannesburg and Pretoria, where -- at nearly 2,000 metres above sea level -- winters are cold and dry, tropical Durban which is warmer and more humid and windy Cape Town with its grey and wet winters.

Sport
South Africans are sports-mad, with soccer the most popular, especially among blacks, and cricket and rugby also followed passionately, predominantly by whites.

The country's Springboks rugby team are the world champions and have won that prize twice in the last four tournaments, while its Proteas cricket team are one of the world's top-ranked, although they have never won a World Cup.

The national soccer team, affectionately known as Bafana Bafana (The Boys), have not fared as well. They are ranked 90th in the world but have set themselves the target of making it through the first round of the tournament, to avoid being the first host nation to fail to do so.

(18.05.10 - Source BT Yahoo! Sport - Compiled by Gordon Bell; editing by Barry Moody; to query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

(Source: Reuters – by Agnieszka Flak. Additional reporting by Michael Georgy and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Barry Moody; To query or comment on this story emailsportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com Read the full article here.) 

Sex workers fear missing the party - 19.05.10

Photography by Coda

Like other Johannesburg prostitutes, Zandile dreamed of getting rich from World Cup fans.

Now she complains that foreigners will be scared off by fear of AIDS and crime and there will be no World Cup bonanza.

Foreign fans have been repeatedly warned in their home countries about the dangers of casual sex.

Last year, some officials warned that 40,000 sex workers would invade this country from around Africa, but the reality looks very different.

“It’s great that the World Cup will be held here… I just wish we could have a bit of the pie,” said Zandile, who works the streets of Sandton, one of Johannesburg’s richest suburbs and a glitzy hub for entertainment and business.

Zandile and her colleagues fear the refusal of authorities to create safe areas for prostitution during the tournament will make it nearly impossible to attract clients.

“Foreigners and tourists don’t like to look for the girls on the streets,” said Mudiwa, a sex worker from Zimbabwe.

“The government needs to create a safe space for us, so that the customers know where to find us. When you get into a car, you never know if you’ll be able to see your child again.”

Some politicians last year called for the creation of protected areas for prostitution during the World Cup, following examples of zones designated during the last edition of the tournament in Germany in 2006. 

Instead, cities such as Cape Town have preferred to clean up the streets, following New York’s zero tolerance approach to crime.

Advocacy groups also unsuccessfully urged the government to put a moratorium on prostitution-related arrests.

“There are so many logistical and political issues inherent in the World Cup that sex work is very low on the agenda…it’s politically much more expedient to ignore the problem than to deal with it head on,” said Marlise Richter, a researcher who collaborates with sex worker advocacy groups.

Lost opportunity
Germany changed its criminal law around sex work ahead of the event, but in South Africa “that opportunity has been wasted”, Richter said.

The host cities have few plans for how to protect sex workers or their clients, saying that with prostitution still illegal, they were limited in what they could do.

Sibongile Mazibuko, the head of the World Cup team for Johannesburg, said the city would make condoms available, but had no plans for how to deal with the issue otherwise.

“We can’t give them shelter because we can’t be part of a crime…we can’t have a banana republic that creates laws for an event for one month,” she said.

It is unclear if demand for paid sex will rise significantly during the June 11-July 11 tournament. 

Yet if last year’s Confederations Cup, a rehearsal for the World Cup, is anything to go by, business might be slow, Zandile said.

“I only had one customer from the games…but at least I was then able to pay my rent that month,” she said.

Prostitution is a crime in South Africa and attempts to at least partially legalise it may take years. 

Activists argue that decriminalising the trade would protect sex workers and clients, ease their access to health care and help to contain the spread of HIV.

“The criminal law stigmatises the profession, creates barriers to reporting gender-based violence and gives clients an immense amount of power over sex workers,” Richter said.

HIV/AIDS campaign targets SA football fans - 12.05.10

Football is not necessarily the issue taking centre stage in South Africa this summer. The country is grappling with the rapid spread of the HIV/AIDS and TB. With nearly 5.7 million people living with HIV, the country's health authorities are riding on the popularity of the World Cup to raise awareness of the threat posed by the two diseases and prevent their further spread.

One of the campaigns against HIV/AIDS is a project run by the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU). Under the banner 'Show Me Your Number', SAFPU is using the power of soccer to reach out to millions of sexually active South African youth with messages on HIV/AIDS. Ronny Zondi is a former South African national football player.

"Footballers, given the stardom status that they have, they can reach out to young people to test and know their status and to begin to deal with the reality of HIV. We do encourage players to be tested in public. I have tested several times in public and I don't have a problem about testing. It becomes a challenge to test publicly if you do not have information on HIV and AIDS. Because how do I test if I do not know how does HIV affect me?"

The campaign against HIV/AIDS is targeting population in the townships where football has a near fanatical following but also where HIV/AIDS is affecting many.

Show Me Your Number as the coordinating body for South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Sport & Entertainment Sector is engaging with various sporting personalities, the entertainment industry, civil society and all South Africans to give all they have in ensuring that by June 2011, 15 million South Africans have tested for HIV and know their status. Plans are at advanced stages in terms of using the 2010 FIFA World Cup at stadia, fan parks, park and rides, public viewing areas, hospitality establishments and places of entertainment to promote the government's HIV Counselling and Testing campaign.

As Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, the Deputy Secretary of SAFPU and Board member of FIFPro Division Africa says "we mesmerize the fans with our sublime football skills, we get people to talk and those moments of brilliance in the game, we stir emotions through goals scored or missed. Through the power of football we are determined to help the South African government and other governments in Africa to take responsibility and turn the tide against HIV".

 We all know the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Johannesburg on 11 June but beyond the final whistle on 11 July, South Africa is hoping that the World Cup will provide the impetus to stop new HIV infections.

(Sources: UN Radio - Patrick Maigua in Johannesburg, South Africa and Show Me Your Number Campaign http://www.yournumber.co.za/campaign.html)

England footie fans ready to give up sex for World Cup! – 17.05.10

Photography by MichalFotos

England football fans are ready to give up sex, wash the dishes for a year or even dump their girlfriends, if their team wins the World Cup in return.

In the survey, 12 percent said that they would give up sex for a year if it happened, a third would do the housework for 12 months and 10 percent said they’d happily dump their girlfriend in return for the Cup.

According to the poll by milkshake brand Frijj, an astounding 51 percent would even turn down a chance to spend the night with Cheryl Cole if it means winning. Neuropsychologist David Lewis says that giving up sex is because of a region called the nucleus accumbens.

“It floods mind and body with ‘feel-good’ chemicals when we anticipate something pleasurable,” The Mirror quoted the doctor as saying. “So you could say fans are giving themselves an intense but perfectly legal high as they anticipate an English victory.”

(Source: ANI)

China lifts travel ban against people with HIV - 28.04.10

China has lifted a two-decade-old ban on people with HIV and AIDS from entering the country, just as it is about to welcome the world to the Shanghai Expo. 

The decision announced by China's Cabinet, the State Council, follows similar moves by the United States and South Korea to eliminate travel restrictions for people with the HIV virus. Both lifted their bans on visitors with HIV in January. 

Dr. Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention said the move would help reduce the stigma that people in China who have HIV or AIDS face, still a serious problem despite highly publicized yearly visits to AIDS patients by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. As in many other countries, the stigma prevents many people reluctant from getting tested. 

China's ban had been launched based on "limited knowledge" of HIV at the time and proved inconvenient for the country when hosting international events, the State Council said, according to a statement posted on its website. The Shanghai Expo begins Saturday and runs for six months. 

The ban was implemented "at a time when HIV/AIDS was relatively new, and our understanding about HIV/AIDS has since accumulated," Wu said in a phone interview. 

Despite greater openness, the government remains sensitive about the disease, regularly cracking down on activists and patients who seek more support and rights. 

The State Council said the government passed amendments on April 19, revising the Border Quarantine Law as well as China's Law on Control of the Entry and Exit of Aliens. The changes were effective immediately. 

The move also includes scrapping entry restrictions for people with other sexually transmitted diseases and leprosy. The State Council said the government realized such restrictions had limited effect on preventing and controlling the spread of diseases in the country. 

Entry restrictions, however, remain on people with "serious" mental illnesses, infectious tuberculosis and "infectious diseases likely to cause significant harm to public health," the State Council said. The Cabinet did not immediately respond to faxed questions. 

The HIV virus that causes AIDS gained a foothold in China largely due to unsanitary blood plasma-buying schemes and tainted transfusions in hospitals. Health authorities say sex has overtaken drug abuse as the main way HIV is transmitted. 

AIDS was the top killer among infectious diseases in China for the first time in 2008, a fact that may reflect improved reporting of HIV/AIDS statistics in recent years. 

Government statistics show that by the end of October 2009, the number of Chinese confirmed to be living with HIV-AIDS was 319,877, up from 264,302 in 2008 and 135,630 in 2005. But Health Minister Chen Zhu has said the actual level of infections is probably near 740,000. 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed China's decision and urged other countries that still bar people with HIV to change their laws as soon as possible. "Punitive policies and practices only hamper the global AIDS response," he said in a statement. 

Prominent AIDS activist Edwin Cameron, a judge on South Africa's Constitutional Court, also welcomed the removal of the travel ban, according to a statement from a group representing United Nations staffers living with HIV. Cameron, who has HIV, traveled to China twice in the last year and a half and met with officials about the ban. 

Cameron said the visa restrictions were "illogical" and "nearly led to the cancellation of my last trip to China because of a misunderstanding between government departments." 

"I am relieved this will never happen again to anyone living with HIV," he said in the statement. 

Last month, China denied a visa to an HIV-positive Australian writer, Robert Dessaix, who had hoped to attend a writers' tour in the country, prompting a group of nearly 100 prominent Australian authors to sign a petition condemning Beijing and demanding that Chinese authorities apologize to Dessaix. Authors who signed included Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee and Booker Prize winner Thomas Keneally.

(Originally reported by GILLIAN WONG - Associated Press Writer BEIJING)

South Africa: Football Festival gives hope to youth - 08.04.10

As part of preparations for the football World Cup in South Africa, officials recently inaugurated a refurbished sports stadium in one of Johannesburg’s less wealthy neighbourhoods. During the World Cup, the 3,000-seat facility will host an alternative football tournament for disadvantaged young people from around the world. 

Football officials and community organizers recently launched the Football for Hope Festival on March 25 in Alexandra, an impoverished township in eastern Johannesburg torn by violence and crime.

Speaking at the official opening launch, managing director of Streetfootballworld Jurgun Griesbeck said that the aim of the event was to encourage young people to take responsibility for their own lives. 
 
"The participants were chosen to show the world that they are young leaders so that when they are talking about themselves and where they are going, you yourself become inspired," he said. 
 
The players will also participate in activities which promote the exchange of ideas and life experiences, including talks on issues like HIV/AIDS and football coaching workshops.

Also speaking at the launch, the chief executive of the local organizing committee for the FIFA 2010 World Cup, Danny Jordaan said that the upcoming world cup was not only about the famous football stars that are coming to South Africa for the event but also about the youngsters participating in the Football for Hope Festival. 
 
"It is a World Cup of hope, a World Cup of change, a World Cup of opportunity, a World Cup that focuses on the young people and their ambitions and their dreams," Jordaan said.

The two-week-long tournament, to be held in July toward the end of the World Cup, will bring together more than 200 underprivileged young people from 40 nations.

Football’s governing body, FIFA, is sponsoring the event. Head of corporate responsibility Federico Addiechi stated this is a way to give back to disadvantaged people who often are among the sport’s most ardent supporters.

“Football is with no doubt an integral part of our life. And therefore it is FIFA’s responsibility and the responsibility of everyone involved in the game of football to use its popularity, to use its power, as a tool for social change,” Addiechi said.

Football for Hope was founded five years ago. It works with 82 organizations in 50 countries that use football to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, conflict resolution, children’s rights, anti-discrimination and environmental issues.”

Conflict resolution is a major theme here. The team coming from Israel includes both Israeli and Palestinian kids. Players from the war-torn nations of the former Yugoslavia make up another team.

The Cambodian team includes land mine victims, and those from Britain and the United States include homeless youths.

The tournament will have mixed teams of girls and boys and each of the 12-minute games will be played without official referees so that all disagreements will be resolved through dialogue, a method which organizers hope will enhance mutual understanding and personal development in the young players. 

FIFA plans to launch 20 such centres across Africa this year. It wants them to be a legacy of the excitement and good will created by the continent’s first World Cup.

 (Source: IPS/GIN via COMTEX and www.7finder.com)

Ryan Giggs: What to do next?  - 30.03.10

In a rare interview, the quiet man of football talked to Scotland’s Big Issue about his future and being a living legend. 

“I really have no idea what I want to do next,” he says genuinely. “I couldn’t be further away from knowing, if I’m honest. I’m doing my coaching badges right now, so I’ll have that option, but I don’t know if I see myself in management or not. I’ve got a few interests and I like doing charity work, but like I say – I have no real clue what I’ll do.”

 About building on his role with UNICEF he adds. “I’ve been with them as an ambassador since 2006,” he says. 

“The club (Manchester United) has had a partnership there for about 10 years or so and I just think it’s a very good thing for the players to get involved with. It doesn’t suit everyone, but it’s good for me. I have kids now and it helps you appreciate things more when you go to places and see how some people are living. I went to Sierra Leon recently, which was pretty nice because it’s where my granddad was from. We went to Freetown for three days and you just see a completely new way of life. 

“We wanted to spread awareness about HIV and aids, and if my profile as a footballer helps do that then it is definitely worth it.”

(Originally reported in The Big Issue in Scotland. Read the full interview here.)

Football stars support Comic Relief campaign - 31.03.10 

Comic Relief has produced a series of 10 short films with English and African footballers. The public education films are to broadcast across Africa and use humour to communicate serious messages that focus on malaria, HIV/AIDS and education urging people to use mosquito nets, know their HIV status and wear a condom, and send their children to school.

International football stars including Aaron Mokoena of Portsmouth and South Africa, Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal and the Ivory Coast, Salif Diao, Abdoulaye Faye and Amdy Faye, all of Stoke City and Senegal, Sebastien Bassong of Cameroon and Spurs, Mamady Sidibe of Stoke City and Mali, and Kolo Toure of Manchester City and the Ivory Coast got involved in the campaign. They were joined by Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and England and Peter Crouch of Spurs and England.

The films will be broadcast during the live showing of premiership games on “free-to-view” television stations in over 30 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa and will reach a weekly audience of 300 million viewers. The broadcast time has been fully supported by the English Premier League and donated by Optima Sports Marketing which distributes live premiership games throughout Africa and the campaign will run until the end of the current season in May. The films have been created by Mother, the London-based advertising agency.

Commenting on the campaign, Kevin Cahill, Comic Relief's chief executive said: “We are delighted that so many footballing heroes have lent their support to this important campaign. Their participation will raise awareness of three really important issues to the people of Africa. By spreading serious messages in a light hearted way, we hope that people will be encouraged to take action and help both themselves and their families.” 

Commenting on the campaign, Aaron Mokoena of Portsmouth and South Africa said: “I was born in Africa and I know how important football is across the continent so it's fantastic that so many premiership footballers have got involved in making these short films. These messages will be seen by millions of people and hopefully they will help to change lives.”

(Source: www.bizcommunity.com)

Durex’s 2009 Great British Sex Survey: The results are in!

Sex surveyIn 2009, Durex gave Health Care Professionals the opportunity to put pertinent questions to the public about their sexual practices in the form of the Great British Sex Survey. With over 11,000 respondents across the nation, the results reveal fascinating insights into people's underlying attitudes towards STIs and safer sex. Durex asked ten questions of the British public and over 11,000 responded:

1. How many sexual partners have you had?
2. How often, on average, do you have sex?
3. How old were you when you lost your virginity?
4. Have you tested positive for any of the following in the past 12 months...?
5. Are you concerned/feel you are at risk from any of the following...?
6. Do you use condoms?
7. Where did you learn how to use condoms?
8. If you wanted to know more about sex, where would you get the information?
9. When having sex for the first time with a new partner, when should the subject of condoms be raised?
10. If you've had sex in the last 3 years without a condom, why didn't you use one?

(Source: DurexHCP.co.uk Read what people said here)

Russian football boss visits Nike’s coaching clinic - 05.04.10

Legendary coach Guus Hiddink was in Johannesburg recently to host a workshop with 30 young, aspiring South African footballers as part of Nike’s Inside the Elite training programme.

In a discussion based on the fundamentals of football, Hiddink also spoke of the impact of HIV and AIDS in Africa, and that as an ambassador for the Nike (RED) ‘Lace Up. Save Lives.’ campaign, it is important for youths to be tested for HIV and AIDS and know their status.

The much-anticipated, intense on-field training session at Orlando Stadium hosted by Hiddink proved to be a game-changing experience for the young footballers.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to visit South Africa with Nike and engage with these young, skilled footballers. They have the potential to become great footballers, to write their future, and it is imperative that they further develop their skills,” said Hiddink in a statement.

More safe sex please...we are Olympic athletes - 27.02.10

Winter Games athletes seem to have ditched the theory of no sex before they compete for medals.

In response to this change in attitude, an additional 8500 condoms made up an “emergency airlift” to the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler for the athletes.

The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research provided the original shipment of 100,000 – that’s around 14 condoms per visiting athlete (compared to around 8 condoms per athlete in Sydney in 2000, the same number in Athens in 2004 and around 6 in Beijing 2008) however, in 2010 this still wasn’t quite enough. In a similar scenario, Sydney authorities initially distributed 70,000 condoms to athletes but an additional 20,000 were ordered to meet demand.

Foundation executive director Kerry Whiteside told The Kingston Whig Standard: "when we heard about the condom shortage in Vancouver, we felt it important to respond immediately. Safer sex is key to preventing the spread of the HIV virus."

The demand for condoms at the Vancouver Games is in stark contrast to Beijing. Last fall, a collector auctioned 5000 condoms that were left over from the 2008 Summer Games.

(Originally reported by ANI)

Unregulated fights leave fighters at risk of HIV and hepatitis - 28.02.10

A Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Bill was last week passed in Iowa’s State Senate. The bill to amend Iowa’s law will now be put before the Iowa House. Unlike most other US states where officials or third party sanctioning bodies oversee regulation, Iowa (along with 15 other states) does not regulate amateur MMA fights.

Unregulated fights don’t require blood tests, leaving fighters vulnerable to catch a disease if an opponent with HIV or hepatitis gets cut and blood flies.

The proposed rules for amateur MMA fights would include:

HEALTH: Fighters would have to get tests for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C every six months. If they test positive, they could not fight. Fighters would need a physical at least 90 days before a fight.

MEDICAL CARE: A doctor would need to be present at events to check fighters before and after each bout.

Should Iowa clean up MMA fighting? Read the full story here.



U.S. HIV travel ban removed - 04.01.10

Some might say they were long overdue but on 4 January 2010, the United States introduced new immigration rules relating to HIV and in doing so, they eliminated a 22-year restriction on entry into the U.S. for people infected with HIV. The ban was imposed at the height of a worldwide panic about HIV and AIDS in the late 1980s.

This removal of entry restrictions means that people living with HIV will now be able to follow routine immigration procedures to visit and migrate to the U.S. This timely change in U.S. law has also removed an obstacle that had been jeopardising the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), which has now been confirmed to take place in Washington, DC from 22 to 27 July 2012.

International AIDS Society President-Elect Dr. Elly Katabira, Professor of Medicine at Makerere University in Uganda, who will serve as the International Chair of AIDS 2012 said “The return of the conference to the United States is the result of years of dedicated advocacy to end a misguided policy based on fear, rather than science, and represents a significant victory for public health and human rights…” 

HIVfacts: For a complete list of countries and their policies for people living with HIV visit  NAMLIFE  

Football League Managers wear 'Badge of Hope'- 07.12.09

Once again Football League Managers showed their support for people living with HIV/AIDS by wearing the HIVsport ‘Football Badge of Hope’ over the World AIDS Day period. Managers seen sporting their badges on the touchline and in interviews ncluded Barclays Premier League Managers,  Sir Alex Ferguson, Rafa Benitez, Alex McLeish, Mick McCarthy, David Moyes, Harry Redknapp, Roberto De Matteo, Martin O’Neill and, Mark Hughes. From the Coca-Cola League we spotted Aldershot Town Manager, Kevin Dillon.

HIVsport wishes to thank all managers who made this voluntary gesture to show their support for World AIDS Day and in so doing help to reduce the stigma and discrimination that often accompanies HIV/AIDS around the world. HIVsport also wishes to thank the League Managers Association for distributing the badges on our behalf, demonstrating how social partnerships can really work and make a difference.

Britain’s political leaders deliver their World AIDS Day messages - 1.12.09

 Follow the links below to hear what the Prime Minister, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg had to say about HIV and AIDS in 2009.



World AIDS Day launch for www.hivsport.org - 1.12.09

To mark World AIDS Day, Tuesday 1st December 2009, HIVsport announced that its newly expanded web site has now gone live. The official promotion event took place in the historic River Room of the House of Lords on Thursday 19th November and was kindly hosted by Baroness Joyce Gould.

The evening was attended by leading figures from sports organisations and practitioners in the fields of sexual health and HIV/AIDS. Keynote speakers were the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for the Olympics, Barry McGuigan MBE, former world featherweight champion and Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA). The event was held jointly with the Educational Sports Forum (ESF) to which HIVsport affiliates.

Baroness Gould spoke about the pressing need to maintain vigilance and resources to improve the sexual health of young people and to turn back the rise in HIV infections seen recently in the UK.

Tessa Jowell impressed upon the audience the need for the London Olympics to leave a lasting legacy of improved health for all people including sexual health. She commended the work of the 2012 London Olympics Sexual Health Planning Group of which HIVsport is a member and hoped that the Group could make a significant contribution to ensuring that the London Olympics meet best practices in encouraging good sexual health among competitors, visitors and others involved, including construction workers who are at the Olympic site now.

Barry McGuigan congratulated HIVsport for raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in sport and commented that it was particularly apt within his own sport of boxing where special care has to be taken to avoid the risk of transmission of blood borne viruses.

Gordon Taylor emphasised the importance of professional footballers acting as role models and noted the excellent work done by players such as Ryan Giggs in promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS through their work with UNICEF.

The evening ended with short speeches from Alan Irwin, Chief Executive of the ESF who placed particular importance on raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in the forthcoming World Cup year when the tournament will be held in South Africa, a country that has been badly affected by the HIV epidemic.

Andy Harvey, Chair of HIVsport wrapped up proceedings by thanking Baroness Gould for hosting the event, all the speakers, and SSL International for supporting the development of the web site which he hoped would act as a resource and information point for everyone involved in sport. He said that it was vital that all children across the globe should be able to grow up with their ambitions in life left undimmed by HIV/AIDS.

HIVFacts:
Latest figures from UNAIDS, the Joint United National Programme on HIV/AIDS, shows that over 33 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2008. There were 2.7 million new infections in 2008 and 2.00 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

According to UNAIDS there are 77,000 people living with HIV in the UK. The UK?s Health Protection Agency (HPA) states that 72% of new infections in the UK are among the 15 - 39 year-old age group. This is the group most likely to be engaged in sports.

President Obama to remove US HIV travel ban - 31.10.09

On Friday 30 October, President Barack Obama announced he would do away with a 22-year-old ban on entry into the United States for people infected with HIV; a law which he said was “rooted in fear rather than fact”. He shall introduce a new federal ruling that will eliminate the ban by the beginning of 2010. The US is currently one of 12 countries worldwide that prevent entry to people living with HIV.

The President speaking in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room said, "We talk about reducing the stigma of this disease, yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat," and added "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it." Mr. Obama made his announcement after signing The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, a piece of legislation that will extend federal funding for HIV/AIDS treatment to hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans who do not have health insurance.

HIVfact:  According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1 million people in the United States have HIV with almost one-quarter of them are not aware that they are infected.

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HIVsport would like to thank
Durex for their support

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Durex's vision is that of an HIV-free world.

We have an overriding commitment to sexual health and a strong track record of supporting initiatives to raise awareness of HIV prevention for all.

This is why we are proud to sponsor HIVsport in its effort to promote sexual health in the field of sport.

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