Zambia Copper Producer Asks Employees to Undergo Voluntary, Anonymous HIV Testing
In an effort to obtain "more accurate data" on HIV prevalence in its work force, Zambia's largest copper producer has asked its 10,000 employees to volunteer for anonymous HIV testing, Reuters reports. Konkola Copper Mines Plc. CEO Tim Wadeson said that the test is necessary for the company's future planning and hopes that Konkola's contractors would also volunteer for the study, which would bring the participant count to 14,000. He added that he would like to see more HIV testing conducted in Zambia, where the government estimates that one in five adults is HIV-positive. "We hope that the study we are about to embark on ... can be a model at the national level. We need fairly accurate data to be able to plan forward and this we do not have at the moment," Wadeson said. The mining industry is "crucial" to Zambia's economy -- 80% of the country's export revenues are derived from copper and cobalt (Esipisu, Reuters, 2/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.