UNAIDS Protect the Goal

UNAIDS Protect the Goal is a global advocacy campaign that uses the power of sports to unite people around the world against… HIV.

UNAIDS partnered with FIFA and CAF to use football as platform of creating HIV and AIDS awareness.

Football team captains across the continent make pledges before matches in mobilizing people to join and support UNAIDS in ending AIDS and the 3 Zeros of

*Zero New HIV Infections

*Zero Discrimination

*Zero AIDS Related Deaths

The campaign uses other venues also beyond football such as music, arts and all sorts of youth friendly arenas. Skeffa Chimoto, Malawi top musician composed the theme song for Protect the Goal Campaign that is used across the country in creating awareness.He was then appointed by UNAIDS as Protect the Goal Lead Music Celebrity in 2014 during World AIDS Day in Karonga.

3 key messages in the campaign

* Know Your HIV Status

* Condomize

* Circumscise

In Malawi the campaign have Malawi Government,One United Nations, National AIDS Commission as partners whilst Football Association of Malawi is the implementing partners using it’s available structures. A number of local prominent football players were chosen and trained to use their talents and skills in conveying HIV awareness messages to masses particularly young adolescents.

Malawi Football Champions for the Campaign

* Chawanangwa Kaonga
* Lukia Sanudi
* Victor Mpinganjira
* Ruth Nyirongo
* Chancy Gondwe

Campaign Aim
To raise awareness on HIV prevention and encourage young people to get actively involved in both the national and global response to HIV.

In Malawi, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) launched the ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign in late 2013. The aim of the campaign is to use football as a platform to scale up access to HIV information and services among the youth, as well as to mobilize young people to commit to HIV prevention.
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM), as an affiliate organization of CAF, is mandated to develop and manage football in Malawi and has been contracted by UNAIDS to roll-out the campaign and implement localised activities through its football clubs.

The Statistics
Globally, 5 million youth are living with HIV and 4,000 are newly infected each day. Many of the youth are unaware of their HIV status and lack access to life-saving anti-retroviral treatment. Globally, AIDS-related deaths increased by 50% between 2005 and 2012 amongst adolescents. 50% of Malawi’s population are aged 17 years or less, of whom 51.5% are female (NSO, 2010) .

HIV prevalence among adolescent Malawians (15-17 years) has more than doubled since 2004 and only 42% of 15-24 year olds have accurate and comprehensive knowledge of HIV . There is urgent need to address the lack of access to HIV and AIDS information and services as without comprehensive information on SRHR and HIV, young people in Malawi are inadequately equipped to protect themselves from the epidemic.

The campaign addresses these issues by promoting HIV prevention messages among the youth. This will be achieved through training football coaches and prominent youth players on HIV prevention to act as spokespersons for the campaign. These champions will represent the ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign and promote; safe sexual behaviours; HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC); Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) and; condom use incorporating information and education at regular football training and matches.

The campaign was launched in Lilongwe in late 2013 and continues throughout 2014. The campaign is being rolled-out at regional and community level, training 990 young players and 45 coaches on HIV and AIDS prevention in 2014. A national youth under-17 football tournament will be organized with awards for winning teams and individuals with exceptional youth talent. During each tournament, HIV information and services will also be available to spectators. To boost social mobilisation at all levels for the campaign, a pledging ceremony and signing of the PtG global football ball by His Excellency the President has been done by His Excellency Prof Peter Arthur Mutharika President of Republic of Malawi. This will then be followed by the signing of pledges by all social and political leaders as a sign of their pledge to PtG and its messages

Expected Result
In order for Malawi to reach the ‘Three Zeros’: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths no one can be left behind in the HIV and AIDS response. The youth are critical to the HIV response and the ’Protect the Goal’ campaign is expected to achieve; increased awareness among young people on HIV prevention, reduced stigma and discrimination and mobilized communities who engage in effective HIV responses, driving Malawi to ‘Zero’.