UNAIDS joins hands with Standard Bank to “Get to Zero”

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UNAIDS joins hands with Standard Bank to “Get to Zero”

16 December 2011

A hula hoop competition taking place at the Nelson Mandela/Soshanguve sports ground in South Africa. The event was part of the campaign to raise HIV awareness.
Credit: UNAIDS/P. Thekiso

UNAIDS and the Standard Bank Group entered into a two year partnership in December 2011 to raise public awareness of the HIV epidemic within the African continent. Using the Standard Bank‘s marketing and communication resources, UNAIDS will bring its knowledge and expertise in the AIDS response to help raise awareness about HIV among the Bank’s employees and beyond into the local communities.

The Standard Bank Group is Africa’s biggest banking group in terms of assets, geographic spread and market capitalization. In the lead up to this year’s World AIDS Day, the partnership organized activities in four African countries—Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa—around the theme of “Getting to zero”.

In South Africa 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. Voluntary HIV counselling and testing was also provided and approximately 1150 people tested over a two week period.

“This is the first year we have partnered with UNAIDS for World AIDS Day,” said Udo Raab, Director, International Development Group at Standard Bank. “We believe that the 2011 campaign has laid a solid foundation for the partnership for years to come,” he added.

Our partnership with the Standard Bank Group is an excellent example of how businesses can significantly contribute to the AIDS response

Regina Castillo, head of UNAIDS private sector partnerships.

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. 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,” said Regina Castillo, head of UNAIDS private sector partnerships. “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”.

Standard Bank conducted internal HIV awareness raising and advocacy throughout the campaign period. This included providing information to staff on how to stay HIV free, supporting staff members affected by AIDS and the promotion of an accommodating, discrimination-free working environment. The internal campaign reached about 50,000 employees.