HIV prevention campaign: going for gold
31 July 2013
The 2013 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup soccer tournament is promoting the HIV prevention campaign “Protect the Goal” of UNAIDS. On 28 July during the final game of the tournament in Chicago, IL, USA the captains of the national football teams from the United States and Panama pledged to raise awareness of HIV in the football community.
The “Protect the Goal” banner was displayed prominently on the pitch prior to the game, in front of about 58 000 fans. Damarcus Beasley, the captain of the U.S. team and Roman Torres, the captain of the Panamanian team, read a statement calling on players, football fans and young people to support the campaign.
CONCACAF has also promoted the “Protect the Goal” campaign during games taking place earlier this month in Los Angeles, CA, Harrison, NJ and Portland, OR. In April 2013, UNAIDS and CONCACAF signed an agreement in which both organizations agreed to team up to raise awareness about HIV, particularly among the youth.
Globally, an estimated 4.6 million young people (15-24 years of age) are living with HIV. About 2300 young people are infected with HIV each day.
We are extremely happy to continue to support UNAIDS in its efforts to roll out the Protect the Goal campaign and the presidents of the national football teams have embraced the campaign message and are speaking out on HIV prevention in their countries.
We are honoured to have Dr Webb as a strong advocate for UNAIDS vision of Getting to Zero and leadership from CONCACAF will be key as we gear up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.