3 Mining Companies Leading the Fight Against HIV/AIDS (and Other Diseases)
There are 35 million people in the world currently living with HIV/AIDS, with the vast majority of said individuals living in low- and middle-income countries, according to AIDS.gov.
While the mining industry doesn’t necessarily come to mind when thinking of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, many of the world’s largest mining companies are engaged in individual initiatives and partnerships designed to combat HIV/AIDS, from providing for employee testing to funding cutting-edge research.
The following three mining organizations are contributing to the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as a slew of other diseases.
1. Anglo American – HIV/AIDS and TB
Committed to the safety and health of every employee, Anglo American is a global and diversified mining business that provides the raw materials essential for economic development and modern life.
Anglo American runs one of the largest corporate schemes for HIV/AIDS, which includes testing, treatment, education and counseling for employees.
In addition, the mining giant is also tackling tuberculosis (TB), which has become epidemic in South Africa. TB and HIV often go hand in hand, which is why Anglo American tries to test and treat for both diseases as early as possible.
In 2013, Anglo American tested and counseled approximately 93,000 employees and contractors in southern Africa.
2. International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria
As a leader in the mining industry, ICMM is engaged in a variety of individual initiatives and partnerships designed to combat HIV/AIDS. The organization has set up free testing for employees, implemented community peer educator programs and provided workplace and family treatment plans to funding cutting-edge research for the disease.
In their published manual Good Practice Guidance on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, they state, “A direct link exists between a mine’s employees/contractors and the outside community due to, for example, shared living arrangements, social intercourse and the movement of malaria mosquito vectors across boundaries. In order to effectively manage these diseases, a partnership with communities and other organizations with similar goals is necessary and will significantly increase the scale and impact of any management program.”
3. Barrick Gold – HIV/AIDS
Since 2008, Barrick Gold has organized and implemented a series of public awareness activities designed to de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS and promote voluntary testing in the countries they operate.
The company has mining operations and projects in a number of high risk countries, including Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and South Africa and is committed to minimizing the negative social, economic and human rights impacts of HIV/AIDS on its employees.
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