UN agency joins forces with Sony to halt spread of HIV and

24 March 2010Thousands of people in Cameroon and Ghana will have the chance to watch this year’s football World Cup matches live – and have the opportunity to receive HIV and AIDS counselling – thanks to a new partnership announced today by electronics giant Sony and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Thousands of people in Cameroon and Ghana will have the chance to watch this year’s football World Cup matches live – and have the opportunity to receive HIV and AIDS counselling – thanks to a new partnership announced today by electronics giant Sony and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Public Viewing in Africa, a scheme which the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will also take part in, aims to bring health information to vulnerable communities in Cameroon and Ghana.Sony will set up large screens in both countries to broadcast, for free, some 20 World Cup matches, allowing people to watch the games live in areas where televisions are scarce.Throughout the World Cup, to be held in South Africa in June and July, UNDP, JICA and local partners will also be offering viewers HIV and AIDS counselling. They seek to reach some 13,000 people and administer HIV tests to nearly 2,000 of them.Combating HIV and AIDS, as well as malaria and other diseases, is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), anti-poverty targets agreed upon by world leaders with a 2015 deadline.“The World Cup brings people together, both as teams and as nations cheering on their players,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “There can be no spectators in the fight against poverty. Everyone has a role to play in scoring the eight Millennium Development Goals, which if reached would improve the quality of life for many hundreds of millions of people across developing countries.”The agency and Sony said they will join forces on other global initiatives this year to promote progress towards achieving the MDGs. read more