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World Bank:
Workplace HIV discrimination must end

World Bank:
Workplace HIV discrimination must end

The World Bank said on Friday it would push to end HIV discrimination in the workplace, where multinational companies have traditionally applied lower standards to their African employees.

World Bank delegates from 27 countries spent five days in Nairobi, Kenya, discussing discrimination against people living with the virus and putting HIV awareness at the forefront of their workplace policies.

"Multinationals have treated their global employees by different standards. We are saying, Do unto Africans as you would do unto Europeans and Americans," Khama Rogo of the World Bank told a news conference.

Africa bears the brunt of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with more than two-thirds of the 40 million people living with the virus around the world.

The World Bank itself employs 300-400 staff members who have HIV, yet only about 30 are receiving treatment.

"We need to create an environment where there is no fear or stigma around the disease because now we have people scared to be tested, then scared to get the results, then scared to do anything about the infection," Rogo said.

"The World Bank is an employer above everything else. If employees aren't healthy, they can't be productive," he said.

The World Bank has spent more than $1 billion on its AIDS program since it was introduced in 2000. (Jeremy Clarke, Reuters)

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