The creative HIV/AIDS prevention campaign Scrutinize – which shows cartoon TV commercials to highlight risky behaviour – has drawn on the popularity of soccer and soccer terms for new ads during the 2010 World Cup.
The first animert “Dangerous Passes” shows how HIV can spread without people being aware of the sexual history of their partners.
“The action is hot, as the ball is passed from toyboy (a man who sleeps with older women) to losgabi (a woman who is easily persuaded to have sex), who then passes it to sejabana (a man with many partners), who kicks it on to washesha (a man who frequently changes partners).
“Washesha passes the ball to the Minister of Finance (an older man who gives money to a younger partner in exchange for sex), who moves it on to young love (a young man who propositions a younger woman).
“Young love lines up to score … but wait! Suddenly Ninja HIV (whom viewers will recognise from previous Scrutinize animerts) appears from undercover to shibobo the style of all the players, and reveal how HIV has moved from one to the other,” says Scrutinize project manager Bronwyn Pearce, of Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa.
“It’s generally considered cool to play the field, and fortunate to score – but that should only be the case on the field. Off the field, the danger is that the ‘playa’ may be infected with HIV. ”
Three new Red Card animerts will also be screened. In Red Card Phuza Protocol, for example, a man who plies a woman with alcohol is handed a Red Card by the barman.
Pearce says: “What is very important to note, however, is that the red cards are not aimed at the people receiving them, but rather at their actions which contribute to the spread of HIV, such as intergenerational and transactional sex, and alcohol abuse.”
Cal Bruns, founder and CEO of creative agency Matchboxology, which produces the Scrutinize animerts, says: “The play on football themes makes them particularly timely and relevant right now, what with the world’s biggest football tournament on our doorstep, and the messages they convey are clear and entertaining to watch.”
Human trafficking is a gross human rights violation but the scale of this problem, particularly during the World Cup, is often exaggerated researchers state in a report released this month.
No emperical evidence exists to prove that trafficking escalates during big sporting events, say Marlise Richter and Tamlyn Monson from Wits University’s Forced Migration Studies Programme.
“Germany’s experiences during the 2006 Soccer World Cup contradict claims that trafficking volumes will rise during the 2010 Event in South Africa,” they say.
Research conducted after the 2006 World Cup exposed five cases of human trafficking, nothing like the 40 000 cases that were predicted.
Most reports on human trafficking – moving people against their will so that they may be exploited – are based on claims and estimates, they say.
They warn that undue emphasis on human trafficking can detract attention from other human rights violations and labour exploitation, and be to the detriment of policy development in areas like cross-border migration and sex work.
Sex work and human trafficking demand different responses since they are different phenomena, the researchers say – supporting the call to combat human trafficking but also to decriminalise sex work.
The (NIKE) RED Lace Up 2 Save Lives campaign reached hundreds of fans at the Atteridgeville Super Stadium in Pretoria at the last match of the Premier Soccer League.
Last weekend 346 people took the opportunity to take a free, confidential HIV test and three of them won a RED game ball, N 98 jacket and pair of mercurials signed by Mphela.
One of them told other fans happily that he was HIV negative after he got his results.
The (NIKE) RED campaign aims to fight AIDS in Africa and 100% of the profits from the sale of the (NIKE) RED laces – R40 a pair in South Africa – go towards The Global Fund and community football programmes, supported by NIKE.
The HIV/AIDS NGO Right to Care set up testing stations and their staff worked to their limit on Saturday, at the Mamalodi Sundowns match against Golden Arrows.
The Brazilians wore (NIKE) RED laces and a (NIKE) RED ball was used for the game.
Making communities aware of HIV/AIDS is one of the goals of NIKE South Africa and Grassroots Soccer.
Cape Town’s mayor Dan Plato has dropped the ball: he has slammed a proposal, to brand condoms with soccer balls, as “nuts” for promoting prostitution.
In fact the innovative idea from the sex workers union (SWEAT) and the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC) is aiming to promote HIV prevention and awareness.
“I think they (Sweat and SANAC) are nuts thinking they can somehow promote prostitution through the World Cup,” Plato reportedly said.
He said there was “no way” he would condone the decriminalisation of prostitution and he was worried about “young girls on the streets”.
Young girls are particularly vulnerable to abuse while sex work remains illegal and underground.
SANAC’s health researcher Marlise Richter said: “Sex work has links to the World Cup, HIV/Aids, human rights, the law and public health.
“With the influx of an estimated 450 000 visitors to the country and with our high rates of HIV, it is critical that our laws create an environment (to achieve) the best possible public health outcomes.”
The decriminalisation of adult sex work in South Africa is under review and a paper by the SA Law Reform Commission, released this year, tabled four options from total criminalisation to non-criminalisation with regulation.
Adult sex work needs to be legalised to protect sex workers against violence and exploitation, reduce their risk of getting or spreading HIV and upholding labour and human rights.
Vivienne Lalu, SWEAT‘s advocacy officer told me: “We have been campaigning for decriminalisation for more than 14 years.
“Allegations that we are only pressing for 2010 spin-offs is a complete denial of not only sex worker rights, but human rights.
“The Amended Sexual Offences Bill to be delivered to the Department of Justice is due only in 2011,” she said.
Errol Naidoo, director of the Family Policy Institute, reportedly said he was concerned about reports that young girls were being trafficked into South Africa from rural areas and neighbouring countries to service visitors to the World Cup.
South Africa needs to create an environment to protect all sex workers ahead of the World Cup from violence and disease. 2010 condoms could contribute to this, and could even become souvenirs.
Show Me Your Number is a campaign that targets soccer players and their fans, encouraging them to score goals for life against HIV/AIDS as well as scoring on the field.
As South Africa gears up for the 2010 World Cup, this initiative to promote wellness among players and their communities is winning support.
Now the “sports and entertainment” sector of the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC) is also getting up to speed ahead of next year’s soccer spectacle, its spokesman Thulani Njapa says.
Njapa says they will be “hosting a symposium on 18 November”. They recently held a sports and entertainment secretariat summit attended by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
The popularity and lifestyles of soccer stars put them at risk of HIV/AIDS.
As Bafana Bafana and Pirates star, Teko Modise, told me after taking an HIV test as an example to all South Africans to find out their status by testing: “We have lost a couple of players to some diseases and they are exposed to a lot of stuff. Players are getting tempted all the time.”
Show Me Your Number project manager, Mabalane Mfundisi, described one of their goals in this way: “As soccer players we’re saying: ‘Just don’t go on doing wrong things. You need to take responsibility because you have power.
“People look up to you. And other than looking up to you scoring goals, they want to see you scoring goals of life, scoring goals of responsibility’,” said Mfundisi, who is also the chairman of the AIDS Consortium.