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American Rower Aims For 4m People Tested For HIV

American Rower Aims For 4m People Tested For HIV and $4m For UN Slave Memorial

The Goree Challenge announces 4 by 14 campaign ahead of US President Obama visit to The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) on Goree Island, Senegal.

Brooklyn, New York and Goree Island, Senegal (June 24, 2013) - Victor Mooney of Queens, New York invites the press to take a look at his Brazilian built boat, which he hopes will carry him across the Atlantic Ocean later this year from the Canary Islands to New York’s Brooklyn Bridge at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn on Tuesday. 

Mr. Mooney will follow one of the transatlantic slave routes that brought many Africans unwillingly to the Americas and the Caribbean. "I hope people can get tested for HIV and donate $1 or more for the Slave Memorial at the UN during The Goree Challenge", said Victor Mooney. 

This week, US President Obama visits The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) on Goree Island, Senegal, where shackled Africans went through the infamous “Door of No Return”, only to be subject to either death at sea or a life of slavery. During this historic visit, the United States will also mark HIV Testing Day. 

Mr. Mooney made two unsuccessful transatlantic rowing attempts with departures from Goree Island in 2006 and 2009. In 2011, he departed from Cape Verde and drifted for fourteen days in a life raft after his vessel took on water before being rescued and brought to Brazil aboard The Norfolk, a 288 meter Capesize bulk carrier operated by Diana Shipping of Athens, Greece.

His current ocean rowboat, christen the Spirit of Malabo, is currently getting some technical assistance from City University of New York (CUNY), Kingsborough Community College, Office of Maritime Technology Program. Afterwards, State University of New York (SUNY), Maritime College will help Mr. Mooney during his on-water training. The Spirit of Malabo was designed by Roberto Barros and built by Flab - Construção Artesanal de Embarcações.

Of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., an estimated one in five, or nearly 250,000 people, are unaware of their condition. One-third of those who are positive are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection they develop AIDS within one year. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives and is known to reduce the spread of HIV.  The CDC encourages everyone to know their status. Mr. Mooney has lost one brother to AIDS and has another battling the disease. 

In 2010 there were an estimated 22.9 million people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has increased since 2009, when an estimated 22.5 million people were living with HIV, including 2.3 million children. Almost 90% of the 16.6 million children orphaned by AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa.

4 by 14 Campaign

4,000,000 million people tested for HIV/AIDS globally by 12/1/2014

4,000,000 million US dollars raised for the Permanent Memorial at the United Nations to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by 12/1/2014

Goree Challenge IV – The Spirit of Malabo is a project for the New York based South African Arts International (SAAI). The mission of SAAI is to promote multimedia events in venues all over the world; to exhibit the works of artist, artisans, musicians, scholars and professionals; to facilitate worldwide cultural understanding; disseminate and exchange international art and culture; to provide scholarships, sponsor cultural events and artistic seminars; to increase awareness of global pandemic of HIV/AIDS; and to finance these activities through soliciting contributions and funding from both private and public resources.

ENDS

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