Ghana to extend Protect the Goal Campaign to soccer clubs

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Ghana plans to extend the campaign messages of Protect the Goal Campaign to include football clubs and other women sports teams, a senior official of the UNAIDS said on Monday.

Girmay Haile, the UNAIDS Country Director, said his outfit, in collaboration with other stakeholders, had planned quite a number of activities to engage a lot more local football and other sports clubs including women sports.

“Now that the World Cup is over, our campaign is bigger now,” he told Xinhua in an interview, adding that a lot more involvement by a variety of members of the society had been put in place in the country’s post-World Cup campaign.

“And also we plan to engage in a more constructive way more celebrities and also appeal to the youth continuously to pledge their support to the campaign.”

Protect the Goal, first launched at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, is a campaign to raise awareness of HIV prevention and encourage young people to get actively involved in both the national and global response.

The objective of the global launch is to use the popularity and convening power of sports to unite the world for the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

In Ghana, the campaign has been run through collaborative efforts of the Ghana AIDS Commission, UNAIDS and the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The UNAIDS Ghana, in a group effort with the National Youth Authority (NYA), has collected more than 170,000 signatures of PLEDGE from the West African country’s teeming youth who have pledged their commitment to protect themselves from HIV.

The campaign has three key messages: condom use, know your HIV status; and reduce sex partners.

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