South Africa—South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) HIV/AIDS Strategy

Client: Swedish International Development Agency

Duration: 2007-2010

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: South Africa

Solutions: Global Health

During the 2010 World Cup, all eyes were on South African football—locally, regionally, and around the world. The South African Football Players Union (SAFPU) recognized the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on the football fraternity, and the community at large, and supported national efforts to reduce the spread of the disease, minimize its impact, and raise awareness around the issue of HIV/AIDS. DAI assisted SAFPU in developing an HIV/AIDS policy for football players. This process was preceded by a situational analysis that confirmed the lack of HIV/AIDS programs aimed at benefiting football players. It also highlighted high-risk sexual behavior among football players, low perception of risk, low HIV testing rates, and fears of discrimination. The high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South African society in general suggested that a significant percentage of football players are living with HIV/AIDS, or at risk of contracting it.

Sample Activities

  • Determine the level of understanding and attitudes toward HIV/AIDS in the football community.
  • Create a broad campaign to mitigate the spead of HIV/AIDS and raise awareness.

Select Results

  • Created a policy enabling SAFPU to address concerns, gaps in knowledge, patterns of behavior, and attitudes that predispose football players to HIV/AIDS. The policy incorporated international best practice and was formulated in the context of South African law and the International Labor Organization code of practice on management of HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
  • Developed an HIV/AIDS-related theme for the 2010 World Cup and recruited and trained professional football players to serve as role models in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


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