New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and South African-based Standard Bank Group have formed a two-year partnership to raise public awareness on the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
A UN statement made available to PANA in New York on Saturday, stated: "Under the partnership, the UNAIDS will use the Standard Bank Group’s marketing and communication resources across the continent to disseminate knowledge and expertise on responding to AIDS among the bank’s employees and local communities."
It recalled that, "in the lead up to World AIDS Day on 1 December, the partnership organized activities in four countries - Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa, with the theme: 'Getting to zero'."
It said the activities were based on a UNAIDS campaign, which promotes a vision of zero HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and complete eradication of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.
The statement also noted that, "in South Africa, where the bank is based, activities included community football matches and hula hoop competitions, engagement of local radio stations to conduct competitions around HIV knowledge, condom distribution and HIV information dissemination.
"Also, voluntary HIV counselling and testing was provided and about 1,150 people were tested over a two-week period.
"Other activities in Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria also included community voluntary HIV counselling and testing, condom distribution, HIV information dissemination and a football gala with young people, bankers, ministers and parliamentarians," it said.
It further said there were also AIDS awareness-raising sessions conducted among young people in 24 secondary schools by Standard Bank wellness champions.
"Our partnership with the Standard Bank Group is an excellent example of how businesses can significantly contribute to the AIDS response,” Ms. Regina Castillo, head of UNAIDS private sector partnerships, stated.
Castillo also added that, "the Standard Bank Group is making a real difference by keeping both their workforce and their businesses healthy and contributing to the communities in which they work."
-0- PANA AA/BOS 17Dec2011