HIV & AIDS prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyles
Since 2004, the IOC has been running special advocacy campaigns during the Olympic Games, in close partnership with the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and UNAIDS. Targeting athletes and officials in the Olympic Villages, these campaigns aim at raising awareness about the epidemic and healthy behaviours by providing free condoms in the Village polyclinics.
Musa Njoko, a 31 year-old HIV-positive woman, participated in the Olympic Torch Relay on the Cape Town leg in June 2004. Years ago, Musa was one of the first South African women to publicly disclose her HIV status at a time when the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS could have resulted in physical harm and even death. Undeterred by this reality, she has given a voice to women and girls, shattering the silence around issues such as rape, abuse and HIV.
The IOC also organises regional workshops on HIV & AIDS prevention through sport, gathering together representatives of National Olympic Committees and experts from UNAIDS, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, UNICEF, and other local partners to discuss how sport could help support national and international efforts to curb the spread of the AIDS epidemic, especially among young people.
“As an athlete, I played hard on the field, but I don't play with my life or the life of others. Protect yourself from HIV & AIDS.” Frank Fredericks, Namibia, Track and Field Quadruple Olympic Silver Medallist, Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
Several NOCs are already working on HIV and AIDS prevention with their local National Health Councils and other NGOs specialised in this field. Others are now joining the fight and have developed new projects with their community.
- The Brazilian NOC has undertaken HIV awareness-raising campaigns, advocacy work, distributed documentation, staged lectures by volunteer members of vulnerable populations to athletes and distributed free condoms, all of which is in keeping with the National AIDS Policy of the Brazilian government.
- In the Caribbean, the Barbados NOC has included modules on HIV/AIDS in seminars organised for young sportswomen, in cooperation with the National Sports Commission, and has partnered with the Commonwealth Sports Development Programme to develop the Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle Project for Caribbean Youth, which addresses HIV and AIDS, and is currently developing a specific module on HIV and AIDS.
- The Kenyan NOC liaises with the National AIDS Control Council. Role models, including athletes Paul Tergat, Catherine Dereba and Margaret Okayo have participated in HIV prevention activities. HIV prevention awareness is also part of the Olympic Day Run programme.
- The Lesotho Red Cross is developing a sports manual in conjunction with the Lesotho NOC and plans to involve the NOC in coaching activities. Furthermore, since July 2003, the Olympic Youth Ambassador Programme of the Lesotho NOC, in cooperation with the Lesotho National Volunteer Commission, has trained young people to organise sports activities for other young people and to use these activities as a platform for peer education on relevant social issues.
- The Myanmar NOC has established the Sport Medical Committee, which runs the Continuing Medical Education Programme for athletes and coaches, which includes "Education Talks" - a weekly discussion of issues including HIV prevention.
- The Papua New Guinea NOC, through its Medical Commission in partnership with various government agencies, including the National Aids Council, as well as NGOs, has undertaken HIV advocacy and prevention both nationally and in Oceania. Activities include educational and awareness programmes in the framework of the Sport Science and Medicine Courses aimed at behavioural change.
Over 40 million people around the world are living with HIV and many of them are involved in sport, either as spectators or as participants. The sports community has not been spared.
THE CONTRIBUTION OF SPORT - It is a responsibility of the Olympic Movement to make a contribution, as part of civil society. HIV and AIDS are threatening to destroy our collective sporting future, and everyone must play their part in this fight. This is why all of us - whether father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister, teacher or coach, administrator or community leader, athlete or spectator - are being called on to play a part in the response to HIV and AIDS and in the fight against discrimination.
A TOOLKIT TO HELP YOU - The IOC and UNAIDS have published the first Toolkit for HIV & AIDS prevention through sport. Specifically designed for members of the sports community, it offers:
1. More information about HIV & AIDS, how prevention can be effective, how sport can be beneficial for HIV positive persons, all about testing and counselling, and much more;
2. Numerous activities and programmes to be developed with practical suggestions, from basic information sessions with colleagues or athletes, to communications campaigns during sports events, or how to develop a comprehensive policies for sports organisations themselves;
3. Specific suggestions for activities for youngsters aged from 10 to 15 years old and over, as they are a crucial target group for prevention;
4. Information on who can assist you, what organisations can provide expertise and support.
PLAY YOUR PART IN PROTECTING THE WORLD AROUND YOU - HELP STOP HIV
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in French)
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in Spanish)
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in Russian)
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in Portuguese)
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in Chinese)
First Toolkit on HIV&AIDS Prevention (in Swahili)
Sport for health
The IOC also supports several initiatives to raise awareness about healthy lifestyles through sport and the sports community.
In cooperation with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), it supported children's anti-measles and anti-polio programmes in Africa by financing advocacy activities through sport amongst youngsters and rural populations. The projects were implemented in collaboration with the local NOCs and the National Red Cross societies.
The IOC has also cooperated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for many years on the promotion of physical activity for health. Among others, it supports the "Move for Health" and the "Tobacco-Free Sport" campaigns.