Anglo American’s De Beers Group has committed to global targets to achieving zero new cases, zero stigma and zero deaths related to HIV in their organisation. To date, the company has accomplished heart-warming milestones and made noteworthy progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In line with De Beers value of ‘Shaping the Future’ their HIV Disease Management Programme, has for the past 10 years successfully ensured that HIV positive mothers across the organisation give birth to HIV negative babies. These are commendable achievements which demonstrate the company’s ethos of putting the safety and health of its employees first.
In September, the CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), Phillip Barton sat with a diverse group of employees made up of union representatives, operators, contracting partners, employees living with disabilities, to discuss the role that employees play in creating a HIV free organisation – and ultimately, an HIV free generation.
“Several issues such as stigma, confidentiality, discrimination and fear of losing jobs, were highlighted as some of the concern’s employees had when it came to testing for HIV,” says De Beers Group Senior occupational health manager, Dr Tshepo Sedibe.
“We understand that as a company, we have to support, educate and provide counselling without any form of discrimination against anyone who is infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. It is therefore every employee’s personal responsibility to take charge of their own health and wellbeing by knowing their status for the greater benefit of their families and community,” continues Sedibe.
The dialogue was open and honest, and truly ground-breaking for the organisation. The conversation was shared with the rest of DBCM employees in a two-part video series to kick start the HIV/AIDS testing campaigns.
De Beers employees also benefit from a comprehensive programme of prevention, treatment and support for employees and their families. “We are proud to be one of the first companies to offer free Anti-Retro Viral treatment – available for HIV positive employees and their families.”
“As De Beers Group, we commemorated World Aids Day by knowing our status – not only because it’s a global challenge, but because it is empowering and simply the right thing to do.”