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A new public-private initiative in the Niger River delta should be commended says an editorial in Nature.

The initiative aims to build a community-based programme to study HIV/AIDS in detail and use educational and self-help programmes to prevent its spread.

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), a joint venture between the Nigerian government and multinational energy companies, employs some 17,000 people at its plant in Bonny Island, Nigeria.

These employees, together with the tens of thousands of migrants that have moved to the island over the last decade, are particularly vulnerable to the damage caused by AIDS, says the editorial.

Large companies like those in NLNG may be willing to fund their employees' health provisions. But, argues the editorial, it is unrealistic to extend prevention and treatment to the entire population.

Instead, they should collaborate with the public sector to build community-led solutions. NLNG is using its logistical strength on Bonny Island to set up a programme that could later attract additional funding from international donors.

The editorial suggests that other multinationals should be encouraged to follow its lead.

Link to full article/paper in Nature

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