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Travelling to the World Cup? - 12.06.14

All you need to know about HIV and AIDS in Brazil and how to make sure you come back from the World Cup with nothing more than happy memories.

Photography - KatielipsPhotography - Katielips 

The first case of AIDS was recorded in Brazil in 1982, and whilst many countries have struggled to curb the spread of HIV, Brazil’s response has been a success story with the Government working alongside civil society to aggressively tackle the spreads of the virus.

HIV infection rates are relatively low, although a bit higher than you will find in the UK. According to UNAIDS, by the end of 2011 there were approximately half a million people living with HIV in Brazil and around 15,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses were recorded in 2011.

Brazil has been a leader in providing effective treatment for people with the HIV virus, achieving universal access to life-saving anti-retroviral treatments by 2011.

However, this success story should not stop those travelling to World Cup from taking sensible measures to prevent infection from HIV or any other STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).

Take these simple precautions and you will have nothing other than great memories.

If you have sex with anyone make sure that the male partner is using a condom. You cannot tell just by looking at someone if he or she is HIV+. Using a condom (preservativo in Portuguese) will prevent infection by HIV and other STIs. Take some with you or buy some from a chemist once in Brazil.

As with other countries, there are some groups who are more at risk. These include sex workers, men who have sex with men, and intravenous drug users. Be especially careful if you have sexual relations with someone from the above group and make sure to use that condom! And if for some reason you decide to inject a drug then make sure you use a clean needle.

If you do happen to have unprotected sex or think you may have been exposed to HIV then go to a clinic and ask for PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis). The Brazilian health system is very good but you will need to pay for treatment so make sure you have good travel insurance before you set off.

Brazil is a wonderful country with friendly fun-loving people. Just be sensible, stay safe and enjoy!

For more information about HIV and AIDS please explore the HIVsport website where you will find a wealth of information about HIV. www.hivsport.org

Hoping to score in Brazil? Play safe, use a condom / HIVsport joins national campaign - 09.06.14

Football fans should take a supply of condoms to the World Cup. That is the message from the UK’s leading sexual health charity FPA ahead of the tournament which kicks off this week.

Supported by HIVsportThe Men's Health Forum and The England Band, the FPA has launched its Play safe, use a condom campaign to help men think more about their sexual health before they travel to Brazil. An army of 10,000 England fans is expected to make the trip.

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in the country, and particularly among sex workers, are much higher than in the UK. This means men who have unprotected sex there are exposing themselves to greater risk.

TV doctor and FPA patron Dr David Bull said England supporters should pack condoms for their trip to Brazil, even if it is ‘just in case’.

“It’s a really good idea to take your favourite brand from the UK,” he said. “Condoms sold in Brazil may not be as rigorously tested as those here which carry the British Standards Institution Kitemark.

“You might not be planning to have sex at the World Cup, but it is better to be prepared if it does happen.

“Everyone will be in high spirits and no doubt lots of alcohol will be consumed. In these situations, there’s more chance of people doing something they might later regret.”

The rate of HIV infection in Brazil is double that in the UK among 15 to 49-year-olds, and among female sex workers it is 20 times higher.

Chlamydia and syphilis rates in the country are also significantly higher.

The campaign is being backed by charity HIVsport as well as the England Supporters Band who will travel with fans to Brazil.

Natika H Halil, FPA’s Director of Health and Wellbeing, said stories of men having unprotected sex while on holiday are common.

“Over the years we have heard from many men who have travelled abroad for sporting events, or on stag parties, work trips, or lads’ holidays.

“Quite often drink has been involved and they have had unprotected sex.

“They’ve contacted us in a panic because they don’t know if they have a sexually transmitted infection. The best way to avoid this is to keep a supply of condoms with you, and if you do have sex make sure you use them.”

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Men's Health, said it was important for men to remember basic sexual health messages.

“STIs are on the rise among men and it sometimes seems the hard-hitting condom messages of the 1980s have been forgotten or people are too young to remember them in the first place,” he said.

“As men, we can be a bit complacent when it comes to our own health, and particularly sexual health. The bottom line is using a condom will help protect against both STIs and pregnancy.

“Let’s hope the only thing our men bring home from Brazil is the trophy.”

Top tips:

  • Carry condoms which have been quality-tested to UK standards
  • Condoms can be damaged by oil-based products such as lotions, including sunscreen. Heat can also be a problem, so store them in a cool, dry place.
  • STIs can be passed on through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex, by genital contact and through sharing sex toys - If you have oral sex, cover the penis with a condom or the female genitals and male or female anus with a latex or polyurethane square, also known as a dental dam.
  • Not all STIs have symptoms, but you can still pass them on to other people. If you are worried you have a sexually transmitted infection when you return home, visit your local sexual health clinic or GP as soon as possible. You can use FPA’s Find a Clinic tool.

Throughout the campaign, information, advice, and signposting to sexual health services for testing and treatment will be available at www.fpa.org.uk/playsafe

International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia - 17.05.14

HIVsport’s very own, Dr Andy Harvey has written an article An assessment of the current ‘state of play’ in regards to homophobia and transphobia in English football.

The article has been published by the Birkbeck Sports Business Centre to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17th 2014.

The global always incorporates the domestic within its scope, and in turning our attention to the contentious issue of homophobia in English football we hope to contribute to the debate on ways to tackle discrimination and promote inclusion in sport in the UK and further afield.

View the full article at http://www.sportbusinesscentre.com/news/sport-business-blog/an-assessment-of-the-current-state-of-play-in-regards-to-homophobia-in-english-football-2/

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HIVsport would like to thank
Durex for their support

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Durex's vision is that of an HIV-free world.

We have an overriding commitment to sexual health and a strong track record of supporting initiatives to raise awareness of HIV prevention for all.

This is why we are proud to sponsor HIVsport in its effort to promote sexual health in the field of sport.

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