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World AIDS Day 2016: Thoughts from Mark Cutifani

This World AIDS Day, Mark Cutifani reflects on the HIV/AIDS work Anglo American currently conducts and the role that partnerships can play in ending the epidemic.

"I know my status, my family loves me, and I am living my life. What has been created here by Anglo American is something that is saving our lives. We are grateful."

These are the words of Kelelebetse Tlahabolo, a patient at the UGM clinic in South Africa, and one of the courageous people who shared their story of living with HIV with nearly 20,000 people attending the International AIDS Conference last July. Discover their stories here.

Her words express in a nutshell what for 30 years at Anglo American we have been striving to achieve in the fight against AIDS.

Partners in the future

On 15 November, we reached a new milestone when the head of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and I signed an agreement to promote HIV testing worldwide. This partnership is a good example of how we progress our journey to be true partners in the future with our host countries. I am conscious that our job is to operate with excellence, while directing our efforts where they will have the most impact, particularly looking over the health of our employees and their families.

This agreement demonstrates international recognition of how our steadfast support of HIV/AIDS awareness, free testing and treatment for all of our employees – and their dependents – has made a real difference, particularly in South Africa

But the job is not done yet.

Our efforts to ensure the wellbeing of our employees is ongoing and World AIDS Day provides us with a moment to take stock and reinvigorate our energies.

We are committed to getting 90% of our employees to know their status, in support of the Sustainable Development Goal ambition of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health problem by 2030. We are making progress, but to meet that goal, we need your help.

From wherever you are, you can add your voice to this worthy task. Here are three ways in which you can support the fight against AIDS:

  • Know your HIV status: Get tested – and tell your friends to get tested.
  • Spread the word: Post a picture on Twitter saying you #ProTESTHIV. You can upload a photograph of the word #ProTESTHIV written on the palm of your hand summarising what we need in order to strengthen HIV prevention and testing efforts.
  • Make a donation: Support our partners’ efforts by donating to UNAIDS, visit https://donations.unaids.org

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