un osservatorio sulla libertà femminile

– Sudafrica: i Mondiali e l’HIV

I mondiali di calcio stanno arrivando al loro clou, ma una notizia è passata inosservata, tra le vetrine di celebrità presenti alla manifestazione e la retorica sul paese, perfetto esempio di integrazione tra miseria e business: la diffusione dell’Hiv. Un esercito di prostitute si è riversato nelle località coinvolte dai Mondiali ma già qualche settimana fa il quotidiano inglese The Guardian dava notizia che la Fifa aveva vietato alle Ong impegnate in Sudafrica nel lavoro di prevenzione dell’Hiv, la distribuzione negli stadi e alle feste connesse di materiale informativo e profilattici:

“Aids groups in South africa  have accused Fifa of banning the distribution of condoms at World Cup stadiums and other venues.
The Aids Consortium and other groups also criticised  a block on the distribution of safe sex information at stadiums and fan parks, even though alcohol can be advertised.

South Africa has the world’s largest number of HIV carriers, with an estimated 5.7 million people infected – about one in every five adults. There are around 1,400 new HIV infections every day and nearly 1,000 Aids deaths.

This has prompted calls for a health initiative to prevent the virus spreading as hundreds of thousands of football fans pour into the country for the World Cup, which starts next Friday.

The South African government says there are more than 71m condoms currently in circulation, with a further 65m available. In March it was announced that Britain would give 42m condoms to South Africa. But Fifa’s tight restrictions on venues, where only official sponsors are allowed, will prevent fans gaining access to the condoms and to crucial health information, Aids organisations warned.

“To date Fifa has not permitted any civil society organisation to distribute HIV- or health-related information and Fifa has not provided any written confirmation that condoms may be distributed at stadia and within the fan-fests,” the groups said in a statement. “This is despite the fact that commercial sponsors selling alcohol will have dedicated spaces available.”

The statement – from bodies including the Aids Consortium, Community Media Trust, Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, Section 27 and Treatment Action Campaign – added that Fifa had a “moral obligation” to work with local organisations “to protect both citizens and visitors alike from HIV infection, TB and the H1N1 virus”.

It said they had requested without success an urgent meeting with Fifa and the local organisers to discuss their concerns. Fifa said it was not aware of any such requests, and that a meeting was under way to address the issues.

In April, South Africa launched the world’s biggest HIV testing and treatment programme, aimed at providing drugs to 80% of HIV-positive people and testing 15 million people by the end of June next year. The president, Jacob Zuma, earned praise for taking an HIV test.

“The World Cup is an opportunity to combine sport with messages about HIV prevention and healthy living that can be heard by millions of people,” the groups’ statement concluded. “It would be a tragedy to miss it.”



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