On the occasion of the Vancouver 2010 Games, an awareness campaign entitled “Together we can stop HIV and AIDS” has been launched aimed at the athletes. Vancouver Costal Health, which is the body providing public health and hospital services during the Games, UNAIDS, VANOC and the IOC have teamed up in order to educate about HIV and recruit athletes as ambassadors to raise awareness about the epidemic.
Posters and brochures on HIV/AIDS have been distributed at the Olympic Village as well as the IOC Athletes’ Information kit. Condoms will be distributed during the Games and made available at the Polyclinics in the Olympic Villages. Frank Fredericks, track and field quadruple Olympic silver medallist and Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission says: “As an athlete I played hard on the field, but I don’t play with my life or the lives of others. Protect yourself from HIV/AIDS.” Today, athletes can be role models for young people and others in their community. They therefore have a duty and responsibility to use their voice to deliver messages about HIV prevention, care and support.
Link between sport and HIV
Today more than 33 million people are living with HIV, and of those infected in 2008, 40% were young people under 25. Many of these young people are involved in sport, either as spectators or participants. Through its global network, the sports community can be a key actor in reaching out to communities to promote safer sexual behaviour and to stop stigma and discrimination. The IOC will elaborate on that topic during a dedicated symposium entitled “The Impact of Science and Innovation in HIV and AIDS”, to be held in Vancouver during the Games. Organised jointly by UNAIDS, the International AIDS Society and the government of British Columbia, the event will take place on 26 February at the University of British Columbia.
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Official website of UNAIDS