f4_logo_fixed_clear_smallToday, World AIDS Day 2008, marks the official launch of the Football for an HIV-free Generation (F4) Initiative. Driven by an alliance between GRS, UNAIDS, Coxswain Social Investment Plus, loveLife, and the African Broadcast Media Partnership Against HIV/AIDSThe initiative taps into excitement around the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup by using soccer as the entry point for an evidence-based strategy that draws on best practice for HIV prevention, youth communication, and sport for development.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr. Peter Piot said, “Soccer offers an exciting platform for intensifying HIV prevention efforts across Africa helping promote self esteem and supporting the development of protective communication and life skills. Combining soccer with community based programmes and intensive media outreach will give a welcome boost to ongoing HIV prevention work on the continent and will be particularly powerful in the months building up to the first World Cup to be hosted in Africa.”

Leading researchers insist that “Reductions in HIV transmission need widespread and sustained efforts, and a mix of communication channels.” The F4 Initiative is translating this research into action by creating a continent-wide movement reaching millions, by building the capacity of partner organizations in hundreds of communities to lead in-school and outreach programs, and by combining youth-targeted HIV prevention and life skills education with a sustained pan-African mass media campaign

Reaching scale through implementing partnerships with community based organizations across Africa, the F4 Initiative aims to:

Reduce the rate of HIV infection among young Africans
Through evidence-based programs designed by GRS and loveLife
Re-engage young people across Africa in the fight against HIV and AIDS
Through social media developed by GRS, loveLife, and ABMP

Boost leadership and funding of large scale HIV-prevention programs across Africa

Through advocacy efforts led by UNAIDS and CSI+
For more information on F4: Football For An HIV Free Generation, visit http://f4hivfree.org