Fear of spread of HIV infection football fans sparks demand for registration of South Africa prostitutes.
Calls are growing for South Africa to legalise prostitution ahead of next year’s football World cup in an effort to limit HIV infection among millions of fans visiting the country for the tournament.
A leading health specialists to the Tidesports source that the World Cup presented a huge risk and said there was an urgent need to start registering prostitutes and screening them for the virus. It is estimated that 50% of the country’s sex workers are infected.
Professor Ian Sanne, head of the clinical HIV research unit at Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University, said the party atmosphere being touted by the football authorities, travel companies and the South African government was a green light to school abuse and promiscuity among fans next summer.
Around 3.2 million tickets will be sold for the matches. A million will go to South African residents, with the rest split between international fans and sponsor. Twenty thousand England fans are expected to head for South Africa, where those without tickets will be catered for with huge screens and temporary bars across the country.
Sanne said not only would the visitors be at risk, but young South Africans and sex workers too, opening the way for the virus to spread at a dramatically increased rate.
“HIV/Aids is a problem globally and there is a great need to encourage and enforce better health and responsibility, especially to the young South Africans who could be at risk during the World Cup,” he said.
He called for legal frameworks to regulate the practice of sex workers rather than discriminate against them.
Interim legalisation of prostitution would be best for the country, rather than leaving it uncontrolled, said. “Sex workers need to register with a board that will regulate their practice and give certification to practice, but they have to go through a mandatory HIV tresting process first, and only those who test negative will be allowed to practice.”
South Africa is the centre of the global HIV epidemic, with more than five million adults infected. An estimated one in two of working prostitutes is living with the virus an dthe lack of medication led to a quarter of a million people dying of Aids-related illnesses there last year. The antiretroviral medication that helps prevent HIV devleopming into ful-blown Aids is being taken by fewer than 30% of those infected.
Infection rates among women aged 15 to 24 declined slightly from 22.1% in 2007 to 21.7% 2008, but among women in the 30 to 34 age group, the infection rate was 40,4 in 2008.
But while Sanne said authorities should use the World Cup as a platform to raise awareness on the need for testing, Aids/HIV campaigners responded furiously that it would take concern for foreigners rather than its own citizen to make the South African government act.
“The clear way forward to help tackle the tens of thousands of women forced into prostitution through poverty is to legalise it now, not to make it a temporary measure for the World Cup,” said Vuyiseka Dubula of the Treatment Action Campaign.
We need preostiution decriminalised now so we can start to help these women, many of whom have been abused and brutalised from a young age.
Former South African police commissioner Jackie Selebi, now suspended over corruption allegations, caused widespread dismay when he first susggested legalising prostitution and public drinking for the duration of the World Cup, arguing that it would free his officers to deal with security, but the issue is hugely contentious in a country where the sex trade is regarded as immoral and un-acceptable.
A spokesman for the FA said: They (English fans) will all be issued with guidance along with their tickets and we are working now on how best to communicate the dos and don’ts in South Africa to people. But the FA can’t be responsible for all the English people travelling to South Africa next summer.
Scholarships Up For Grabs For 10 Winners At MTN Champs
The grand finale of the MTN Champs will commence from today and end on Sunday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja where 10 winners will bag scholarship and financial benefits.
MTN CHAMPS is a program in Nigeria that aims to unearth and foster athletics talent across the country.
It is modeled after the Jamaican High school CHAMPS and is poised to become the primary platform for identifying and nurturing promising athletes who could go on to represent Nigeria in prestigious international competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.
Before the finals in Abuja, the track and field event was held in three different regions namely: Uyo, Benin and Ibadan where over 7,000 athletes have competed and 42 finalists emerged.
Speaking at the MTN Champs Press Conference held on Wednesday in Abuja, the General Secretary of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Rita Mosindi appealed for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the young athletes.
“ I want to appeal for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the kids to educate them on the side effects of taking dope substances.
“These are raw talents that we can manage and nurture them to stardom.
“My advice is to do seminars concerning this just as we have started doing as a federation to reduce doping cases in Nigeria.”
Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC), Bambo Akanni, who is the brain behind the MTN Champs revealed that 10 young athletes from the championship will get special scholarship in the USA and Jamaica.
“MTN Champs involving Secondary School Championship is to discover future Olympians for the country, building youth to excel in sports and academics. This is in line with MTN history of supporting local athletes for global aspirations.
NBPL Final Four: Winning Tournament Excites Rivers Hoopers Player
Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt player Effiong Abel has expressed joy for winning the just concluded Nigeria Basketball Premier (NBPL) League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the game was not an easy one, adding that they were going through a hard training before the competition.
Effiong disclosed his excitement last Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports shortly after Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs basketball team 77-57 in the final game of the four of the NBPL in Port Harcourt.
He stated that it was a team work that saw them through, adding that he was very happy winning the tournament in the front of his fans.
“ I feel very excited today for winning the Nigeria Basketball Premier League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
“ It was not an easy one because of the type of training we were undergoing to ensure we get victory in the tournament.
“I give kudos to my teammates and the coaching crew, they were awesome.
“ Also kudos to the fans, they came out in numbers to support us” Effiong said.
Effiong personally took charge at some point of the game delivering three pointers which eventually created a lee way for a sumptuous finale.
By: Kiadum Edookor
MOC Makes Appeal Over Age Cheats
Organisers of the ongoing school athletics competition, MTN Champs, Making of Champions (MoC), have appealed to all athletes who have participated in the three legs of the championship, as well as their schools, parents, coaches and everyone connected to them to support the body in its efforts to eradicate the systemic age cheating in Nigeria’s athletics by committing to use their real ages at the Abuja grand final and in future.
“MTN has provided a historic opportunity for Nigeria to finally tackle the pressures that our athletes have long faced to cut their ages,” MoC said in a statement made available to news men.
“Never in our nation’s history has there been a nationwide series of championships that has provided three age groups cutting across ages 11 to 19, to give everyone possible opportunity to compete fairly in their own age groups, and we have even relaxed the junior age group from U-20 to U-23.
The grand finale will hold in Abuja from December 1 to 3.
The MoC statement added: “Despite the fact that appropriate age groups have been provided for everyone, we have seen widespread age discrepancies across all three age categories – Cadet (U-14) and Youth (U-17) categories, which are strictly for secondary schools only and juniors (U-20), which is open to all other teenagers.
“For example, we have seen a systematic pattern of an unusually high number of SS2 and SS3 students claiming to be 13 and 14 years old respectively. We have seen athletes who were 14 in 2021 claiming to still be 14 now, 18-year-olds who have finished secondary school already claiming to be 13 so that they can run against the cadets, and we have seen many athletes competing for schools they are not part of and in the wrong age categories as well.
“One of such schools, which was biggest offender in this area, is currently in the process of being disqualified, which will be announced shortly.”
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