Extra Time presents HalfTime’s HIV Conquerors

There are six African teams in the World Cup in 2010 — and another six in the HalfTime five-a-side tournament planned for Friday July 2 in Johannesburg.

Swaziland is one of the determined soccer teams of HalfTime.

This small nation, South Africa’s nearest neighbour in the Southern African region, and facing an even higher Aida burden, lies due east of Gauteng and its capital.

The team will be bussing in to play — is this a secret motivational strategy, to bond en route via the N17? They’re already making bold claims. Their name? “HIV Conquerors”. Their target? Fifteen goals in the day. And they’ll have more than a month’s regular practice under their belts.

Like many of the teams, they’re a band of men and women living with HIV who’ve come together for the first time, to be part of HalfTime and contribute to the call to donors to ramp up funding for treatment for HIV/Aids.

They’re also here to show “that being positive and living a positive life means you can do everything”, and to share their experiences with other people living with HIV/Aids from other countries.

Among them are also patients who have become MSF staff members, learning how to lead new patients along the pathway to treatment.

There’s three-and-a-half weeks to go.

We look forward to welcoming these courageous Swazis to South Africa.

For more information about MSF work in Swaziland, visit http://www.msf.org.za/Swaziland/.

HIV conquerors

In picture: Swaziland’s HIV Conquerors are rehearsing every Sunday in preparation to HalfTime’s event on July 2 in Johannesburg. Copyright MSF.