Diamond Company De Beers May Offer Antiretroviral Drugs to Its HIV-Positive South African Workers
South African diamond company De Beers may distribute antiretroviral drugs to its HIV-positive South African employees, the African Mining Monitor reports. A spokesperson for De Beers said that the company has been considering the decision for about one year. If implemented, the drug distribution would be part of a broader company HIV/AIDS program that would include HIV counseling and free, voluntary HIV testing for workers. Debswana Mine, a joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government, has been providing antiretroviral drugs free of charge to HIV-positive employees and their spouses since May 2001. In addition, South African mining company AngloGold and the five unions with which it negotiates contracts are expected to sign an agreement tomorrow on HIV management in the workplace. The agreement would "commit" the company and the unions to developing programs that would "minimize the impact of the disease in the workplace" (African Mining Monitor, 7/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.