Banking sector joins HIV campaign

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pretoria - Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is to extend the HIV, Counselling and Testing campaign to the banking sector when he launches the campaign at ABSA headquarters tomorrow.

This comes after ABSA took a lead in the banking sector by partnering with the National Department of Health on the department's campaign, in a bid to eliminate discrimination of employees who disclose their HIV positive status and elongated absenteeism by staff living with HIV.

The campaign was first launched by President Jacob Zuma in April last year to ensure that South Africans know their HIV status.

The campaign will be formally launched on Wednesday by Motsoaledi and ABSA Chief Executive, Maria Ramos.

The ABSA HCT campaign will be implemented in three phases, including campaign launch, training of ABSA staff on HIV and Aids and testing of staff, which includes staff members located in 900 branches countrywide.

As part of the 34 000 ABSA's workforce, headquarters staff will also attend the two-hour launch session to be followed by comprehensive training on HIV and Aids, which is estimated to be rolled out for approximately two months.

The training will entail electronic and face-to-face learning from 14 September 2011. Once all employees have acquired HIV and Aids knowledge through the training programme, employees HIV testing will commence.

During the launch, the minister will be joined by Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Ntombi Mekgwe, City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Sowetan newspaper columnist and HIV activist, Lucky Mazibuko.