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Soccer Tournament Aims to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness, Testing Among African, Caribbean Immigrants in Seattle Area

September 20, 2005

Health officials in the Seattle area are hosting a soccer tournament in an effort to teach African and Caribbean immigrants about HIV/AIDS and undergo testing for the virus, the Seattle Times reports. The second "Kick HIV/AIDS Away" soccer tournament in Tukwila, Wash., is being hosted by Public Health Seattle and King County, and the People of Color Against AIDS Network is providing no-cost testing and counseling. Recognizing that soccer is one of the most popular sports in Africa, Martin Ndegwa, a Kenyan immigrant and health education worker for Covenant Missions International, came up with the idea for a tournament after seeing an increase in the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in the immigrant community. "We are able to reach communities that are very hard to (reach)," Ndegwa said of outreach at the tournament. Almost 40 people were tested at last year's event, and Ndegwa said he hopes more will be tested this year. During the first weekend of the tournament, more than 25 people were tested, and 80 more are signed up to be tested next weekend (Casavant, Seattle Times, 9/19).

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