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[afro-nets] AIDS Control in Companies in Africa... (3)
- Subject: [afro-nets] AIDS Control in Companies in Africa... (3)
- From: Daraus Bukenya <DarausB@amrefhq.org>
- Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 07:57:31 +0200
AIDS Control in Companies in Africa... (3)
The chain of HIV transmission can be quite complex. For preven-
tative interventions to be effective and prompt in generating
longer lasting impacts, we must identify those critical nodes on
the chain that we must break. Providing for the workforce alone
is no longer considered effective enough. Our experience in
workplace HIV/AIDS shows that workers constantly interact sexu-
ally with communities - close to and far from the worksite.
Money and influence could be a strong factor in these relations.
In one study, we found that at least 60% of the workers in one
company with a relatively good workplace intervention interacted
sexually with "sex workers" in the neighbouring communities,
among whom we found the HIV prevalence to exceed 46%. Worse
still, most such interactions involved no condom use. Some of
the workers indeed admitted similar sexual interactions while
away from work - on holidays etc.
While employers have a responsibility to their workers, they
also need to look more widely beyond the workforce. At the same
time, it is not fair to expect employers to take responsibility
for entire communities. But there are many other players - gov-
ernment and nongovernmental - that employers could partner with
to address the wider community and in the process leverage re-
sources. Presently, this is only happening to a very small
scale. It has to be enhanced.
African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)