Give AIDS the Red Card..

Give AIDS the Red Card initiative launched at All-Africa Games Mozambique

Source: UNAIDS – UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and Mozambique’s Minister of Youth and Sports H.E. Pedrito Fuleda Caetano launched the UNAIDS initiative Give AIDS the Red Card. The announcement was made on the eve of the 10th All-Africa Games, the continent’s largest multi-sports tournament bringing together more than 5 000 athletes.
“Reducing the numbers of new HIV infections is nowhere more imperative or urgent than in Africa,” said Mr Sidibé. “The All-Africa Games are a great occasion to raise awareness about intensifying efforts to reach UNAIDS’ vision of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.” The launch took place under the patronage of Dr. Aires Aly Bonifácio, Prime Minister of Mozambique. Attending the launch were former Mozambican President Joaquim Alberto Chissano as well as many leading athletes.

The UNAIDS Give AIDS the Red Card campaign aims to raise awareness and mobilize action to strengthen the response to HIV and accelerate progress across Africa. The campaign was introduced at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with the support of 28 team captains. Captains of six teams at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany also endorsed the initiative.

At the Maputo event, heads of national delegations to the Games, including presidents of National Olympic Committees and Ministers of Sport from 47 participating countries, agreed to sign a pledge to support the Give AIDS the Red Card campaign for Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination, and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

By signing the pledge, each delegation is agreeing to set up a national plan of action on the Give AIDS the Red Card campaign in consultation with UNAIDS offices upon return to their respective countries. The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon will be the next platform for pan-African mobilization of the initiative.

The importance of youth and sporting community participation in the response to AIDS was emphasized by the UNAIDS Executive Director during his meeting with Mozambique’s Minister of Youth and Sports, H.E. Pedrito Fuleda Caetano.

Mr Sidibé asked the Ministry to use the All-Africa Games to promote this initiative across all sports disciplines during the Games and beyond. Mr Sidibé emphasised that “sport events should be viewed as key platforms to link with other social movements to drive the prevention revolution including reducing vulnerability of women and girls, scaling-up HIV testing and counselling, reduction of multiple partnership and accelerating medical male circumcision.”

Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region most affected by HIV, with an estimated 22.5 million people living with HIV in the region representing 68% of the global total. However significant progress is being made in the region. In 22 countries, the HIV incidence rate has declined by more than 25% between 2001 and 2009.

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