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We have less than 80 days left to save lives

–  Pieter-Dirk Uys, Artslink, 25 March 2010 

Soccer, alcohol and sex often go together. During a month of celebration and intense competition from 11 June to 11 July, South Africa will be the centre of fun and festivity.

Soccer will lead to sex, with beer in between.

We will have many visitors who have paid a lot of money to come here to have fun. How will they be alerted to the dangers of HIV and Aids? Our infection rate tops the world. School children will be on holiday. A thirteen-year old can easily look seventeen.

Everyone must be reminded of the need to protect themselves. The Opposition has called for an HiV/Aids education campaign to be launched for the event.

The government has announced a plan to halve infections by the end of the year. That's too late for the FIFA World Cup in June/July.

Those responsible for this event should lead the way, approaching schools and colleges, advertising agencies and artists to find ways to alert the public. "If it's not On, it's not In"; "Put your Love in a Plastic Bag".

Our politicians must lead by example.

Humour goes a long way to make a serious point. There is no need to be hysterical or sensationalist.

The issue is quite simple: "Welcome to South Africa! There is a poisonous snake in the grass. Be aware.

Check before you sit and have your FIFA picnic. Have a great time in South Africa. Leave SA with good memories, not with a virus. And take all your belongings with you. Don't leave SA with unwanted pregnancies!"

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articles from 2010