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Companies have no Aids policies

According to a research by the National Aids Council (NAC), only 23% of companies in the country are implementing HIV and Aids policies and programmes in line with the Labour Relations Act.

About 13% of companies have policies but are not implementing them.

The survey results were presented by the NAC CEO, Tapiwa Magure at a workshop on HIV and Aids awareness at work places last week.

Magure said NAC surveyed 577 companies, noting that the results were disappointing.

“Compared with previous years, performance of workplace HIV and Aids programmes keeps dropping.

“Since workers spend more time at the workplace, they may therefore miss most of the mainstream HIV and Aids response initiatives,” Magure said last week.

Thankful Musukutwa, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development said the results were a cause for concern.

Musukutwa said HIV and Aids related deaths reversed gains of the economic turnaround efforts.

“This sad state of affairs leaves the majority of workers at the risk of HIV-infection and consequently exposing business productivity at risk at a huge cost to virtually every aspect of socio-economic development.

“It is estimated that labour losses due to HIV and Aids in Zimbabwe will have risen by 29% from 20% in 2005,” Musukutwa said.

“In keeping with the national multi-sectoral response that Zimbabwe adopted, various sectors including business must therefore play their part in contributing to national efforts to tame the pandemic.”

Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that continue to register a marginal decline of new HIV infections with latest statistics showing that the percentage of people infected with the virus dropped from 16% in 2007 to 13% last year.

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