Intervention in India
Our HIV/Aids work has traditionally focused on African countries with high prevalence rates. In 2007, however, we focused increasingly on other countries with potential emerging epidemics.
Although India has a low prevalence of HIV/Aids as a percentage of its population, as many as three million people are affected. Using our experience and expertise from Africa, we have trained 20 ‘master trainers’ who in turn have passed on their knowledge to 150 peer educators within our workforce.
Supported by a range of media, these people have ensured that key messages about HIV/Aids are communicated to colleagues accurately and effectively. To maximise the impact and ensure greater acceptance of those affected, we have invited people living with the disease into the workplace to share their experience.
HIV/Aids in India 00:04:42
HIV/Aids in India
Breaking down barriers
Botswana suffers an extraordinarily high HIV prevalence rate, yet a major obstacle to combating the disease is the prejudice and stigma that means that individuals are reluctant to admit publicly that they are infected.
When Leso, an employee in Botswana, discovered he was HIV-positive, he made the brave decision to tell his colleagues. His story has now been made into a series of presentations. The aim is not only to raise HIV awareness and encourage people to go for testing, but to ensure greater acceptance and empathy towards those living with HIV and Aids.
Leso’s story proves that HIV is not a bar to living a full, active life and shows that, with testing and treatment, HIV is manageable rather than a death sentence. Since Leso declared his status, over 90% of people in his workplace have volunteered to be tested.
Supporting World Aids Day
Millions of people around the globe marked the 20th World Aids Day in December 2007. As part of its contribution, Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) joined forces with Imani Center for Policy and Education to host a community awareness event in the town of Adabraka.
A packed crowd listened as speakers stressed the need to avoid shunning those with HIV/Aids and addressed the prevention of HIV and hepatitis B. Personnel from the local hospital offered counselling and testing while medical students from the University of Ghana screened volunteers for hepatitis B and checked body mass, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. With drummers providing entertainment, ABL staff handed out T-shirts and drinks and the event was widely covered by local and national media.
Also marking World AIDS Day 2007, Nile Breweries in Uganda continued its well-established HIV/Aids programme by conducting voluntary counselling and testing among employees, contractors and the neighbouring community.
Encouraging employees to know their status in Mozambique
Against a background of rising HIV/Aids rates in Mozambique, Cervejas de Moçambique (CDM) introduced an HIV policy in 2005 to protect employees and reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by HIV-infected people in the workplace. It also launched the first phase of its ‘Know Your Status’ campaign, aimed at encouraging employees to find out their HIV status.
Two years on, in October 2007, the second phase of ‘Know Your Status’ kicked off. Over 100 employees and family members are currently benefiting from CDM’s treatment programme, which is considered to be one of the best in Mozambique. In addition, volunteers from CDM’s workforce act as peer educators to spread information about the pandemic and encourage participants in the company-sponsored antiretroviral programme to adhere to the treatment.