July / August #83 : Soda Wars - by Esther Kaplan

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Table of Contents

Once Upon A Time...

Young At Heartland

The Lying Game

Life vs. Meth

This Is Only a Test

Mbeki's 180

Spin Doctors

Soda Wars

Iran Runs

New Friend

Sex Crimes

Got Milk? Get Meds

Got His Goat

Monkey C

Mind Trip

Beach Reads

Memory Lane

Face the Music

Failure Is Sweet

Who Done It

Defensive Tackle

Under the Sun

Cave Kava

Relayed Reaction

Habit Helpers

Ticked & Stoned

Rated X5

Vax Populi

TB or Not TB

IV Leader

Flower Children

Milestones

Drug Interactions

Dubya Trouble

Publisher's Letter

Mailbox

Reed Represents



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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July / August 2002

Soda Wars

by Esther Kaplan

Madison Square Garden was unseasonably empty on April 17, with the Knicks and Rangers out of the playoffs, but the streets outside were teeming with protesters. A Coca-Cola shareholder's meeting had attracted dozens of puppet-wielding AIDS activists, there to launch a campaign to force the soda giant, the largest private-sector employer in Africa, to provide treatment for its HIV positive workers.

Coke made headlines last year by announcing a new African AIDS plan: a three-year prevention partnership with UNAIDS plus education, testing and treatment for employees. "Coke became the AIDS poster child among multinationals," said Health GAP's Sharonann Lynch, "which made them a bright, shiny target for us." Coke, whose Africa profits topped $200 million last year, has since turned over billboards in Kenya to HIV prevention and distributed HIV lit across Zambia.

While Coke now supplies antiretrovirals to its 1,500 "direct employees," the 100,000-plus who bottle soda or drive trucks are still sans meds. Coke Africa vice president Robert Lindsay emphasized that Coke's bottling partners "are separate companies with different ownerships," each of whom "are at various stages of developing their AIDS strategy." But Lynch scoffed. "How much of a subsidiary does Coke have to own before they take responsibility for their workers' health?"




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