South Africa: Mercedes Adds Muscle to Fight AIDS
July 20, 2007
Trucking is essential to South Africa's economy, and Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles is sponsoring a mobile van to connect truckers with HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and counseling. Along with two Learning Clinic vans, the Mercedes team will visit trucking businesses around the nation.
Trucking Against AIDS (TAA) has 12 roadside wellness centers that provide education and primary care along major trucking routes in all South African provinces. Each center is made of two adapted six-meter containers, one serving patients for testing and prescriptions and the other for education and counseling. Since launching with union support in 1999, TAA has dispensed STD treatment for 95,350 clients and has provided about 7.9 million condoms.
"The growth and continued successful operation of the network of centers has been encouraging, as is the financial support received from the Road Freight Association and key industry players," said Tertius Wessels of TAA. Other benefactors Wessels mentioned were Imperial Logistics, Unitrans, UTI, Caltrex and Engen. Altogether, they have contributed 4.3 million rand ($618,200 US) to TAA.
The Swedish development cooperation agency Sida also recently contributed about 6 million rand ($863,000 US) to enable TAA to expand the wellness center program and offer mobile van services.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.