Tapping into the power of football to help prevent HIV/AIDS
"Public Viewing in Africa" is getting a lot of attention because the project involves cooperation between the public and the private sector. Sony has formed tie-ups with UNDP in Cameroon, and with JICA in Ghana so that advocacy against HIV/AIDS such as education, counseling and testing can be offered before the matches and at halftime.
The spread of HIV/AIDS, in particular among the young, is a major social problem in Africa. 67%*
of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in sub-Saharan Africa. Since lack of knowledge and information about the disease is considered to be one of the causes of this, UNDP and JICA are responding actively through projects such as educational programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and HIV testing for children and young people.
Linking education and testing with football-a sport so popular with youngsters-can lead to a significant boost in HIV/AIDS awareness. A trial run co-sponsored with JICA in Ghana in 2009 delivered impressive results: 7,200 people took part in the event (five times the normal JICA figure in rural areas) with 1,100 of them getting tested for HIV test (3 times the normal figure). Clearly this approach can increase the reach of HIV/AIDS education.
- Report on the global AIDS epidemic 2008, August 2008