Soccer helps prevent HIV/AIDS

By July 27, 2011

Zambia (MNN) — Police officers are the second-most HIV affected group in Zambia. When these men have to leave family behind for quick transfers, they can make poor decisions. To get officers' attention on this serious subject, Christian World Outreach (CWO) is holding a soccer tournament in which police play but also learn about and get tested for HIV.

Before the soccer tournament, there hadn't been much interest. CWO's Bill Hoover says, "We do districts, divisions and then a nationwide finale. And we set up VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) tents all around the perimeter of the soccer tournament. And throughout the soccer tournament, we're talking about HIV/AIDS."

CWO started this program six years ago, and the effects have been monumental. For one chaplain, says Hoover, "Three years ago he was burying one officer a week. And now, we're only burying about one officer a month in his particular district.'"

Coupled with the HIV/AIDS message is the Gospel. Hoover says, "We have a brochure called 'The Bible, Sex and Me'. And, people love it. [At the national tournament] we handed out hundreds of copies."

Hoover says it's important to share the Gospel, too. "The only way we're going to see true change is if people come to a relationship with Christ where they want to make their life count for Him, to make their life a shining example for Him. And that is where we truly believe we'll see behavior changes that will start stemming the tide of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that we're seeing."

Christian World Outreach is raising money to fund this program. Click here to learn how to help.

 

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