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Konkola Copper Mines plc Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard has urged the employees and its business partners to lead in the Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) programmes and take care of people living with HIV at work and in communities.

Mr Sheppard said all the employees have a duty to take care of HIV positive colleagues.

He was speaking after leading the KCM executive committee (ExCo) in voluntary counselling and testing at the KCM Corporate Head Office in Chingola.

“We want to set the tone from the top, in terms of what we do, not just what we say. I want to commit myself to Voluntary Counselling and Testing for us as the leadership to demonstrate our commitment to the HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. It’s also extremely important that you do know your status.”

KCM has in the last two decades consistently provided support to the fight against HIV/AIDS through its two major hospitals and 14 clinics in collaboration with the government and other agencies in mainly its areas of operations, namely Nampundwe, Kitwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe.

“We have a duty as leaders to in actual fact support our employees that do have HIV/AIDS. We appreciate that that it’s a confidential issue, and that we do have medical staff that do provide the necessary treatment, and we as managers must ensure that there is no discrimination against people living with AIDS,” Mr Sheppard said.

“Sometimes people have a barrier or an aversion to people that are HIV positive… it is okay to be HIV positive. It is imperative for us that are not HIV positive, to support those people and the families of each of our people that are affected by HIV/AIDS,” he said.

This is according to a media statement by KCM Acting General Manager Corporate Affairs Shapi Shachinda.