The high incidence of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa affects employees working for De Beers in our major mining operations. We implemented a comprehensive programme of prevention, treatment, care and support for our employees and their families, which was extended into the communities around our operations (where possible).
We support education and awareness of HIV prevention and treatment at all levels of the organisation, including management training, and offer Voluntary Counselling and Testing to all employees, including non-permanent employees. Where possible the service is extended to families and community members.
We also provide care, support and treatment: De Beers and partner companies Debswana and Namdeb were among the first companies to offer free anti-retroviral treatment (ART). This is available to HIV positive employees, their life partners and, in Botswana, this has now been extended to children of employees (three children up to the age of 21). Employee assistance programmes and public/private partnerships in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa provide further support and guidance.
Our commitment is ongoing through the De Beers Fund and building relationships with communities, governments and international agencies dealing with HIV/AIDS. De Beers Group has received recognition from the International Chamber of Commerce, UNDP World Business Awards and The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS for its HIV/AIDS programme.
De Beers estimates that between 12,000 and 16,000 children have at least one parent who is still alive because of the comprehensive disease management programme, including ART, provided by De Beers, Debswana and Namdeb.