Sports Engagement – A Powerful Medium to Help Prevent and Stop HIV/AIDS

The Best Youth Bats as well as other sports gears aren’t only used to promote sports. Moreover, engaging in sports itself is not only an activity that’s purely for fun and exercise as it is a powerful tool in helping to avert HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS – A Global Issue

Globally, HIV/AIDS remains to be a primary public health concern. According to a data by UNAIDS, in 2017, there are about 36.9 individuals living with HIV worldwide. Of the 36.9 million, 1.8 million of them are children. Moreover, 25% do not know the status of their condition.

From the time when the epidemic began, an approximated 77.3 million individuals have been infected with AIDS/HIV and about 35.4 million individuals have perished because of AIDS-related ailments. In 2017, about 940,000 individuals died due to illnesses related to AIDS.

Sadly, the youth are prone to contracting the virus. They could either contract them during the first decade of their life (while in the womb, during childbirth, or while being breastfed), or during their teen and adolescent life via unprotected sex or sharing needles that are infected.

Preventing HIV/AIDS Through Sports Engagement

The sector of sport for development could play a substantial role in enlightening the youth about HIV through sport engagement, providing them mentors or advisors as well as other recreational activities that would prevent them from participating and involving themselves in dangerous and uncertain activities that could result in catching the virus.

Majority of people know that the virus, HIV/AIDS, is a worldwide issue. Therefore, at an international level, the sector of sport for development integrates the curricula on HIV/AIDS into programs for youth sport where there is a prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases.

For instance, Laureus advocates projects in India and Africa that work and edify the youth regarding the prevention of HIV/AIDS, help and assist youth with HIV/AIDS, and youth who lost families because of this virus. Laureus is organization that operates globally that commemorate excellence in sporting and utilizes the power of sport for the children’s and youth’s lives to be transformed for the best.

A research by Grassroot Soccer, a worldwide program for sport development that is based in South Africa and Zambia that instigated a program on soccer and HIV/AIDS education, discovered that participants acquired resiliency that is better by means of playing sports. As per the study, a youth that has better resilience is less prone to engage in activities or behaviors that are risky, more likely to keep away from and escape infection, as well as more likely to choose a healthy lifestyle.

With this study, it is confirmation that sport is a powerful and effective tool to embolden, empower and inspire the youth as well as to teach and instill in them to make wise and edified decisions to conclusively stop the spread of the virus.

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