South Africa Launches First Private Sector Conference on HIV/AIDS
The South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS on Wednesday launched the country's first private sector conference on HIV/AIDS in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa's Mail & Guardian reports. The conference aims to establish a coordinated approach to HIV/AIDS both inside and outside the workplace, the coalition said in a statement. About 220 delegates from the private sector, international donor agencies, government and academia were expected to attend the conference to discuss stigma, counseling and testing and access to treatment, according to the coalition. The conference also was expected to focus on reducing the loss of skilled workers to HIV/AIDS-related causes, Jerry Vilakazi, CEO of Business Unity South Africa, said. Brad Mears, the coalition's CEO, said the conference would produce specific commitments from delegates to build partnerships and bolster relationships. Vilakazi in his keynote address called on businesses to live up to their role in addressing the country's HIV/AIDS situation, which "adversely affects employees, ... [and] decreases consumers' spending power and the market size" for products (Eichbaum, Mail & Guardian, 4/5).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.