South African Mines Developing HIV Education Programs for Sex Workers, PRI’s ‘The World’ Reports
PRI's "The World" on Monday reported that some South African mining firms have "launched a counteroffensive" against the spread of HIV among their employees by training local sex workers -- "who play a key role" in spreading the virus -- about safe sex practices. Although prostitution is illegal in South Africa, a "flourishing" sex trade has led to high rates of HIV in mining communities, where many workers are migrants separated from their families. PRI reports that nearly one in four South African miners is HIV-positive, a prevalence rate that is more than double that of the country's general population. According to PRI, Lonmin Platinum has teamed up with sex workers whose clients are often their employees. The company teaches the sex workers about HIV/AIDS, urges them to use condoms, tests them for HIV and provides them with health care. The company is also planning to provide antiretroviral medications to HIV-positive employees and build housing so that miners can live with their families, PRI reports (Kruger, "The World," PRI, 12/30). The full segment is available in RealPlayer online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.