CEO’s spurn condoms, HIV/AIDS tests

Via CEO’s spurn condoms, HIV/AIDS tests. 15 June 2014

ZIMBABWE’S rich and mighty, among them top company executives, are said to be avoiding voluntary HIV/Aids testing as well as buying condoms over the counter fearing they might be labelled promiscuous.

Swedish Workplace HIV and AIDS Programme Regional Coordinator Edith Maziofa-Tapfuma said the conspicuous but promiscuous individuals have sought secret means of obtaining the life-saving rubber.

Some of the bosses are said to be so timid that they even abandon free condoms at their disposal in bathrooms exclusive to them in company premises.

“A lot of top executives and management are unwilling to go for HIV testing and counselling because of the type of services that are available,” Maziofa-Tapfuma said in an interview withNewZimbabwe.com.

“I have long been advocating for executive VCT centres, completely private and open up to midnight where they just walk in and get tested.

“I have lots of CEOs who said to me ‘Edith, the condom is not accessible for an executive at my level; I have a private bathroom in my office, where my PA and cleaner are responsible for refilling the condom dispenser but I am afraid if I take them they will suspect that I am having an affair since I am a married man’.”

Because of their concerns, Maziofa-Tapfuma said, it was time Zimbabwe took a leaf from other countries such as Uganda where CEOs have their own counselling and testing centres.

Although one’s HIV status is information shared between the testing centre and the client, the centres however remain public places easily accessible by everyone, much to the discomfort of public figures.

Free condoms have also been distributed within workplaces through the so-called HIV and AIDS Workplace Wellness Programmes for Private Sector Companies in Zimbabwe.

The contraceptives are usually deliberately placed where they are easily accessible by workers who are also encouraged to attend HIV testing in groups and to disclose their status thereafter.

But it has emerged most CEOs have never been part of these groups and have stayed away from similar lectures.

A baseline survey on companies such as British American Tobacco, Colcom, Hippo Valley Estates, OK Zimbabwe and Diariboard has shown that their wellness policies and programmes are at different levels of implementation.

The companies have also ensured that all such interventions are gender sensitive and non-discriminatory after it was noted that HIV and AIDS affected men and women differently due to biological, socio-economic and economic reasons.

These policies and wellness programmes help management take care of its employees and ensure it responds positively to the demands.

The programmes being implemented include condom promotion, VCT, PMTCT, antenatal health care services ART, education and training programmes, care support and social dialogue platforms.

Taking up the programme has allowed companies to invest in the health of their employees, something that has also been proven to be a loss reduction mechanism for the companies.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar

    but I am afraid if I take them they will suspect that I am having an affair since I am a married man’.”
    Which means he is!!!

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    I do not condone the setting up of executive VCT centres. Its a waste of resources for a few people.Soon they will be demanding the latest most expensive drugs for HIV. what else next? The stigma associated with AIDS/HIV is something that is experienced by everyone regardless of social status. And to give some people preferential treatment over the general public is wrong.

    Why not set up condom dispensers in public toilets, restrooms in restuarants and canteens at cinema toilets and pharmacies. They have a service at my church in the toilets and it works well.As long as these places are discreet and unlabelled and the wrapping is not too telling. Invariably these CEO’s attend functions at these places so they can pick some up.

    What is the point of having comdoms in a private toilet used by one person only for them not to use them because they are afraid to be found out?
    It’s common knowledge that people are less likely to use HIV testing centers or treatment centers closest to their own commmunities for fear of meeting “blubber-mouths”

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Who cares. Let then die.

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    John, you may be right as most of these “war vets” are riddled with it so the sooner the better

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    Mlimo 8 years ago

    John 100 percent right who cares spread it around faster. Setup a prize for the most promiscuous CEO

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    Jenandebvu 8 years ago

    Not worth the space it written on. They can send their girl friends to keep enough stocks at home, in their handibags etc. At least Edith took some from her on “private handibag” and give the CEO to demostrate its an important tool just like any other “atm cards”. Bcz these executive release money, the ATM card must be kept by the one withdrawing the money. Lol

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    shumba liverpool 8 years ago

    Surely in this day and age still fussing about VIP treatment for Hiv..Zimbabweans lets be serious..how many much more prominent and internationally acclaimed individuals who have come clean about their hiv status..zvinonzwisa tsitsi..