June 4, 2010
One week before the start of the World Cup, AIDS activists in South Africa issued a statement accusing soccer's governing body of blocking access to condoms and HIV prevention materials at competition venues and fan parks. "To date, FIFA has not permitted any civil society organization to distribute HIV or health-related information," said groups including the AIDS Consortium and the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. "FIFA has not provided any written confirmation that condoms may be distributed at stadia and within the fan fests." Advocates have raised concerns about the potential for HIV transmission during the month-long event in South Africa, where an estimated 5.7 million people are HIV-positive among the population of 48 million. In a reference to the nation's aggressive plan to diagnose and treat HIV, the activists said, "The World Cup is an opportunity to take forward this campaign and to combine sport with messages about HIV prevention and healthy living that can be heard by millions." There was no immediate response from FIFA.