The HIV/AIDS pandemic is an issue that garners a lot of attention across the continent and SAB is invested in helping with HIV/AIDS prevention in whatever way possible. The impact that the disease has on families, communities, businesses and the economy can be devastating. While the reach of this devastation can be vast, SAB has focused energy and resources on contributing to the reduction of HIV/AIDS in their surroundings.
Our Stance on HIV /AIDS in South Africa
Our country’s prevalence of HIV/AIDS poses a substantial risk to our economy and to South African businesses in general. We have a two-pronged, proactive strategy that helps manage the impact of HIV/AIDS:
- Manage existing infections with appropriate counselling, managed health care – including anti-retroviral treatment - and early diagnosis
- Reducing the instances of infection be creating effective educational programmes
Sharing HIV/AIDS Information
The spread of HIV/AIDS information is imperative in the fight against the disease and also for those living with HIV/AIDS. SAB ensures that all employees, their families, suppliers and local communities have ample access to this information. HIV/AIDS testing programmes are held annually and employees are always encouraged to take part while counselling is made available to them. A managed health care programme – inclusive of lifestyle management and anti-retroviral therapy - is also readily available to all employees and their dependants.
What initially began as a pilot project has now become a firm part of our contribution to bettering the society of South Africa. SAB has identified the use of condoms as the primary means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. In light of this, we've committed to distributing condoms using our comprehensive distribution network. Project Promote aims to distribute condoms to communities using our extensive distribution network.
This initiative is carried out with the help of the National Department of Health (NDoH), the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA) and the Society of Family Health (SFH). We successfully dispersed over 8.4 million condoms and serviced over 3 000 taverns in our pilot project and have now committed to long term plans for Project Promote. We expect to distribute a total of 845 million condoms to approximately 16 000 taverns over the next five years. This alone will assist with averting more than 1.6 million new HIV infections.
A study by founder of Futures Institute, John Stover, says that for every 500 condoms distributed, at least one new infection is averted. Certainly a step in the right direction…