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Special: Improve preventive measures - Can HIV workplace programs reduce the spread of AIDS in South Africa?

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Sometimes, there's no such thing as too much negative growth. In the past eight years, the number of new cases of HIV has dropped by 17 percent worldwide. In 2008, there were even slightly fewer new infections recorded in South Africa, the region with the largest number of people living with HIV. Nonetheless, at 5.7 million, the total number of South Africans with AIDS is still unimaginably high – and that has knock-on effects for the population and the country. In 2007, around 350,000 people in South Africa died of HIV and there were 1.4 million orphaned children.

The pandemic is also having a major impact on the economy of South Africa. The loss of workers is robbing companies of valuable expertise, reducing productivity and increasing health and training costs. Bosch established a presence in South Africa as early as 1906 and, today, employs almost 1,000 associates. Like many companies, Bosch introduced an HIV/AIDS program some years ago and is also committed to addressing the consequences of the condition. The South African government aims to cut the rate of infection by 50 percent by 2011. Can companies contribute to this by providing education, preventive measures and medicines?