Match-day gear includes 8-packs of condoms
By Liz Clarke
Cases of condoms (bundled in packets of eight) were prominently displayed and free for the taking in the women's restrooms at Soccer Stadium for Friday's World Cup stadium, evidence of FIFA's awareness of and commitment to the need to confront the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the host nation.
The "Choice" brand condoms were provided by South Africa's Department of Health, and the packaging included a toll-free number for the AIDS Hotline, as well as a six-panel illustration of proper use and disposal.
The issue of condom-distribution at World Cup venues was a flashpoint in the run-up to the tournament, with HIV/AIDS groups accusing FIFA of trying to quash efforts to distribute condoms and educational information about the disease.
South Africa has the world's highest incidence of HIV/AIDS, with 17 percent of the population afflicted and as many as one-in-five adults in some areas.
Following news reports about allegations that FIFA wasn't being sufficiently proactive on the matter, FIFA reiterated it support of efforts to distribute 1 million condoms over the course of the month-long tournament.
Moreover, FIFA said it would broadcast HIV-prevention messages and condoms ads as part of the "infotainment" at World Cup venues. And the prevention of HIV/AIDS will also be a central message of the Football for Hope Festival to be held in Johannesburg's Alexandra neighborhood July 4-10.
June 11, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: 2010 World Cup , South Africa | Tags: HIV/AIDS, World Cup 2010, condoms
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