African Businesses Vital to HIV/AIDS Fight, Must Do More, Holbrooke Says
African businesses could be major players in the fight against HIV/AIDS and need to scale up their responses to the disease, President of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke said on Thursday, according to Reuters. Speaking while on a tour of the Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa, Holbrooke said diamond producer De Beers serves as a model for how businesses can help combat HIV/AIDS. The firm is one of the first companies to offer antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive workers and their spouses, even after they leave their jobs. About 10% of its employees are HIV-positive. Holbrooke said that while big firms such as De Beers are better equipped to help fight the disease, smaller businesses face challenges because they have fewer resources (Macharia, Reuters, 7/7). GBC is releasing a "practical guide for business managers" on how small businesses can encourage staff members to undergo HIV testing, the SAPA/Mail & Guardian reports (SAPA/Mail & Guardian, 7/7). GBC representatives said some of the suggestions include urging small companies to join together to obtain better insurance rates, purchase condoms or medicines in bulk and share information on HIV/AIDS case management in the workplace (Reuters, 7/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.