Back to Insights

Working with communities to achieve an AIDS-free future

Author: Glencore | Date: 29/11/2019

There are an estimated 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS globally. Some of the highest incidence rates are in countries where we operate, such as South Africa, where 7.7 million people are living with HIV. 

As a company operating in over 50 countries, we have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities near our assets. A key part of operating responsibly is to work with government, NGOs and other stakeholders to support the health and wellbeing of our host communities. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day, “Communities make the difference”, recognises the essential role that communities play in the global AIDS response in helping to achieve UNAID’s 90-90-90 goals:
 

90%

of all people living with HIV will know their status

90%

of all people with diagnosed HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy

90%

of all people receiving therapy will have viral suppression

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

In the DRC, we have delivered health and education campaigns and effective prevention strategies through our Watu Wetu Health Services programmes.  We provide voluntary counselling, testing and awareness, including information on how to reduce mother-to-child transmission, which we offer as part of our employees’ annual medical examinations. Collaboration is central to any successful approach to tackling HIV/AIDS, and we have partnered with the country’s Ministry of Health, local authority and a local radio station.

South Africa

In South Africa, we are working with local organisations to advance our Employee Wellness Programme, which aims to increase the number of HIV-positive employees registered in care and treatment programmes. At our Wonderkop site, we work with Calibre Clinical Consultants who run the wellness programme at that asset, which includes HIV education, testing, 24-hour hotline for assistance, and ongoing medical aid. At our African Fine Carbon asset, we are working with the Life Hospital Witbank to conduct HIV testing and wellness monitoring for our employees. We also launched the Community HIV/AIDS and Wellness Campaign in early 2019 in the town of Steelpoort, which involved medical staff from our Lydenburg smelter providing voluntary testing and educational materials.

Zambia

While in Zambia, our Mopani business has collaborated with the American Centre for Disease Control to support the rollout of the World Health Organization’s Test and Start/Stable on Care programme. Directly supporting the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals, the Test and Start programme trains volunteers in basic counselling and testing, equips them with diagnostic tools, and enables them to carry out home visits, thereby reducing the number of visits to medical facilities. The Stable on Care programme aims to bring medical treatment directly to the homes of people with HIV who have suppressed viral loads and to integrate them back into the community.

At Glencore, we want to create and maintain healthy workplaces, ensure that our employees are fit for work and that they, and our communities, are fit for life. This World AIDS Day highlights that partnering with local communities is an essential part of achieving the goals set out by UNAIDS. We are proud of our ongoing HIV/AIDS initiatives, but we know there is always more to do and we remain committed to combatting this disease to achieve an AIDS-free future.