Joy Beckett, De Beers’ HIV/AIDS Manager, Operations, returned to Johannesburg from the Toronto International AIDS Conference in August 2006. She was very excited to share her new knowledge and the connections she acquired at the conference with her colleagues. However, she realized she needed to think carefully about how to share her ideas for expanding the impact of De Beers HIV/AIDS programs with her colleagues especially in light of the current company restructuring which had been going on for the last three years. A second wave of retrenchment had been just announced.
De Beers’ widespread corporate social responsibility initiatives were guided by the maxim ‘Living up to diamonds’, a symbol of love, purity and durability. At the end of 2005 De Beers had a comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy covering all aspects of prevention, education, treatment, and community involvement. This included the implementation of the De Beers Antiretroviral Treatment (DART) Program (DART) for its employees (current, retrenched, and retired) and their spouses or life partners. In 2005, the company’s success with Voluntary Counseling and Testing was recognized with an award in 2003 from the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) and the company also received an honourable mention in GBCs “Workplace Programs” category.
Joy was thinking about the upcoming meeting with other members of De Beers’ HIV/AIDS team. Is the De Beers’ HIV/AIDS strategy sustainable in the emerging new structure? Should the HIV/AIDS strategy be reconsidered? How can we have the greatest impact within our organizational constraints?
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