De Beers: A great example of what you should include in your HIV management programme

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 24 Nov. 2014

Tags: hiv in the workplace, hiv at work, hiv management, hiv management programme, hiv management system

Managing HIV is about more than just preventing HIV infections at work. It’s about helping improve your employees’ behaviour, lives and education so they’re safe from the disease, even outside of work.

This is what real HIV management is about because it helps manage the widespread impact of HIV/AIDS around your business.

One business that did this really well is De Beers. As the largest diamond mining company in the world, operating mostly in Africa, its HIV risk is very high.

To help it minimise this, it created a sound HIV management system you can learn from…

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Reduce the impact of HIV on your workforce
How you may ask?
By educating your employees on:
How to prevent HIV;
How to prevent spreading it;
How to work with HIV or Aids; and
How to manage HIV or Aids.
You can minimise the effect their health and HIV status has on your business!
And we have the ultimate tool to help you do just that!  

Here’s what De Beers did to manage HIV in its mines

De Beers’ HIV management programme focused on:
Saving lives by preventing new infections. De Beers did this by offering employees every opportunity to know their HIV status and change their risky behaviour.
Helping those living with HIV/AIDS by providing treatment, care and support.
Measuring their impact by monitoring programme benefits and economic impact.
Encouraging communications and stakeholder engagement by establishing relationships with key stakeholders in HIV/Aids management to learn and enhance their response to the communities in which they live and work.
To achieve these objectives, De Beers created an HIV management system with five clear areas:
1. An ARV programme for employees and their dependants;
2. Peer education in the workplace. They got employees with knowledge or experience of HIV/AIDS to train their fellow employees;
3. Well-being programmes to help support and protect employees’ health. These helped manage TB and STIs on site. They also gave employees the information they need on general healthy living. An employee assistance programme offered free counselling to employees and their families;
4. HIV/AIDS training. This gave employees and managers the information they needed to deal with HIV/AIDS at work; and
5. Social investment. De Beers invested $15.3 million into social programmes to help the communities deal with and understand HIV/AIDS.
The result of this programme was that De Beers enrolled 1,120 employees and 335 dependants into its ARV programme. More than 77% of its employees participated in its voluntary counselling and testing programmes. And De Beers achieved a HIV prevalence average of 10.2%, against a national prevalence estimated at 18.8%. This means their workplace HIV rate was 8.6% lower than the national average.
If you want similar results in your HIV management programme for your company, follow De Beers’ example.
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Here’s what De Beers can teach you about HIV management

De Beers’ story should teach you it’s important to provide HIV/AIDS support that extends outside your company.
To do this, your programme should also include:
- Healthcare management (even if you can’t give your employees free ARVs, you can still help them manage their other illnesses);
- Social outreach programmes;
- Training programmes for employees, managers and community members; and
- Peer training.
By following De Beers’ example and including these points in your HIV management programme you can ensure similar results in your company. This means safer employees and a more productive workplace.
PS: Get the upperhand on HIV training by checking out HIV – Training in a Box.

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