Monday, 31 May 2010

Regional Workshop on HIV Responses for Mine Workers, their Families and Affected Communities-

MOZAMBIQUE - Regional Workshop on HIV Responses for Mine Workers, their Families and Affected Communities- The IOM office of Mozambique will hold this week a two-day regional workshop on HIV responses for mine workers, their families and affected communities in southern Africa.

The meeting, which opened on 27 May in Maputo, was organized in partnership with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and was hosted by the NGO TEBA Development.

It brought together key players from the National AIDS Councils, ministries, chamber of mines, private sector, unions, ex-mine worker associations, research organisations and NGOs from eight southern African countries, to share experiences and lessons learned, and good practices of HIV responses in the mining sector.

Research conducted in different southern African countries shows that HIV prevalence and vulnerability to HIV infection is higher among mineworkers, their families and surrounding communities than the general population.

This increased vulnerability results from a number of structural, environmental and individual factors such as single sex accommodation, limited recreational activities and easy access to sex workers or other regular sexual partners.

Moreover, given the dangerous and risky nature of their work, many mineworkers tend to be more preoccupied with the immediate dangers around them, and preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, is not often perceived as an immediate priority.

At a broader policy level, structural factors such as sect oral, national, and regional policies on labour, migration and health also have an impact on the HIV epidemic, primarily by determining the conditions under which the mining sector operates.

To this end, the workshop also identified existing gaps and challenges in policies, programmes and research, in order to outline and inform an effective and comprehensive regional HIV programme.

This regional workshop was part of PHAMSA, a regional programme implemented by IOM's Regional office for Southern Africa, which aims to reduce the HIV incidence and impact of AIDS among migrant and mobile workers and their families.

Active since 2004, the programme targets sectors that are characterised by high levels of population mobility, including construction, transport, commercial agriculture, fisheries and mining sectors as well as cross-border sites. PHAMSA is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

For further information on PHAMSA, please go to

Or contact Nosipho Theyise at IOM Pretoria, Tel: +2712 342 2789, Email:

For additional information:
Jean-Philippe Chauzy Tel: 41 22 717 9361 - Mobile: 41 79 285 4366

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