Mopani’s HIV Care programme offers testing and treatment to its employees, their dependents and the local community. It is aimed at increasing access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) and quality HIV-related care.
Since 2004, we have enrolled over 18,000 individuals, of whom 15,905 were enrolled on ART. AIDS-related deaths have reduced for HIV Care participants (from 225 in 2006 to 76 in 2015), and the number testing HIV-positive has declined from 39.2% in 2005 to 10% in December 2015. This is as a result of awareness campaigns and voluntary counselling for both Mopani workers and the larger community. These educational and support services are conducted by Mopani-trained peer educators; they include information for people to keep seeking positive behavioural traits, voluntary counselling and testing, and ongoing treatment.
One effective way to reduce HIV is preventing transmission from mother to child (PMTCT). The HIV testing acceptance rate among antenatal mothers in the programme increased from 41% in 2005 to 100% by December 2015. Encouraging men to become involved in sexual reproductive health programmes increased their attendance from 0% in 2005 to 77% by December 2015. Mopani’s medical department, which deals with the hospitals and clinics run by Mopani, has previously pioneered treating HIV+ mothers and their partners regardless of their white blood cell count (an indicator of how well their immune systems are working). This maximises suppression of the virus in the mother, which ultimately reduces transmission to the baby. The approach has now been adopted as standard by the Zambian Ministry of Health. To date, transmission of HIV from mother to child has reduced from 37% in 2005 to 0% by December 2015.