- 01 Dec 2009
- IOC News
Sport against HIV/AIDS
On the occasion of the 2009 World Aids Day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reminds of the important role sport can play in the fight against HIV / AIDS. Sport breaks down barriers, builds self-esteem and teaches life skills and healthy behaviour. Today more than 33 million people are living with HIV and many of those newly infected are young people under 25. Many of these youths 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.
A toolkit for prevention
Since several years, the IOC and the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) are teaming up to engage in advocacy campaigns. Together they have developed the first toolkit for HIV & AIDS prevention for the sports community to help the Olympic family engage in activities and programmes to combat this scourge. After the initial French and English versions, the toolkit is now available in Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Swahili and since a few weeks only, also in Spanish, thus reaching millions of sportsmen and sportswomen on the five continents.
Athletes play their part
Athletes can play an important part in the fight against HIV / AIDS. At the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, informative leaflets will be distributed to all athletes competing, and free condoms will be made available at the polyclinics of the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler. “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”, said Frank Fredericks campaign ambassador, a four-time Olympic silver medallist in athletics and Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.