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UNAIDS Signs Up Coca-Cola in Battle Against AIDS: The Coca-Cola




 

GENEVA, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- UNAIDS today announced a partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to bring new impetus to the battle against AIDS. Under the terms of the three-year agreement, the Foundation will co- ordinate the efforts of Coca-Cola Africa and its bottling partners across the continent to support AIDS education, prevention and treatment programs. This partnership is fully in line with the philosophy behind the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa.

"The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation brings substantial resources to the international battle against AIDS," said Peter Piot, Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. "Coca-Cola Africa's special strength is its ability to bring its unrivalled marketing and logistics expertise to responses to the epidemic -- from the community to the highest political level. We are excited about this partnership and what it means for the fight against AIDS."

The Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) brings together seven United Nations system organizations (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank) to help the world prevent new HIV infections, care for those already infected and mitigate the epidemic's impact.

The new partnership between Coca-Cola and UNAIDS is the first major initiative for The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to implementing the Coca-Cola system's philanthropic and corporate citizenship programs in Africa.

"We are proud to be joining the UNAIDS team in the fight against AIDS," said Alexander B. Cummings, President of Coca-Cola Africa Group. "Coca-Cola is completely committed to the future of the African continent, its economy, people, communities and health. We will do all that we can to enable Africans to reach their full potential."

"Two weeks ago, The Coca-Cola Company hosted a meeting of corporate leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which featured U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan," said Carl Ware, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company. "His urgent call to action for private industry to step up its efforts to fight HIV/AIDS inspired our Company and our Africa Group to accelerate our plans to announce this strategic partnership. The initiatives we have outlined today will serve as the guidepost for specific programs that will be introduced throughout the continent in the coming months."

The collaboration between Coca-Cola and UNAIDS will build on existing models of public/private partnerships to strengthen private sector involvement in tackling global issues such as AIDS. The partnership will focus on Africa, where 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world reside.

The three pillars of the partnership are as follows:

Local Community Infrastructure

The Coca-Cola system in Africa will deploy its unique infrastructure and presence in local communities to support local prevention, education and treatment programs.

For example, company and bottler representatives in Zambia will provide assistance to the Family Health Trust, an education project that works with young people in more than 2,500 anti-AIDS clubs throughout the country. The Coca-Cola system in Zambia will store education materials at its facilities in Lusaka and then assist in their distribution to 72 district education officers country-wide.

In Nigeria, Coca-Cola will support the work of the National HIV Sero- Prevalence Sentinel Surveillance Survey for women attending antenatal clinics.

The purpose of this program is to track HIV infection levels through institutions that provide access to populations that are of particular interest in combating the epidemic. The Coca-Cola system in Nigeria will provide marketing support to develop awareness materials on the sentinel sero- surveillance program, assist in the printing and distribution of 10,000 pamphlets, provide expertise in logistics and help distribute testing kits in all of the Nigerian states.

Marketing Resources

Coca-Cola Africa will provide marketing expertise to develop public awareness and information campaigns for UNAIDS and international and local partners across Africa. These messages will seek to foster values of caring, open communication around sexuality, and support for the inclusion of people living with HIV/AIDS in community life.

Human Resources Policies

The Coca-Cola system, as the largest private sector employer in Africa, will develop and implement model human resources policies and practices for its employees, consistent with local laws.

Coca-Cola Africa has already introduced 'minimum standards' for its regional offices across the continent. These policies require the formation of local AIDS Committees, including representatives from management, human resources, labour organizations and medical personnel. These committees will develop workforce education and awareness programs and conduct monthly prevention campaigns.

For more information, please contact, Dominique de Santis, UNAIDS, Geneva, (+41 22) 791 4509, Andrew Shih, UNAIDS, New York, (+ 1 212) 584 5024 or Robert Lindsay, Coca-Cola Africa, (+44 1344) 887412 or (+44 7808) 257 140. You may also visit the UNAIDS Home Page on the Internet for more information about the programme (http://www.unaids.org ).

SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company Web Site: http://www.unaids.org http://www.coke.com



 


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Information in this article was accurate in June 20, 2001. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.