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South Africa: Anglo American disappointed with HIV support response

Date: 4 Jun 2004

Anglo American has said that it is disappointed with a slow start to its programme of voluntary counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS offered to staff. In its latest social report, the company has said that only 1,500 staff are currently on the programme, even though there is an estimated one in four affected by the illness.

Anglo American corporate affairs director Michael Spicer said: "Where management has built up trust with unions and with the workforce, there has been a higher take-up level. Some coal mines, for example, have quite a high take-up level." Workers that undergo the treatment show around 90 percent return to work.

Estimates would place around 30,000 exployees onto a programme of drug assistance eventually.

The company said that, in spite of the initial difficulties, the programme remains "totally the right thing to do".

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