While migrant labour is believed to play an important role in the dynamics of HIV-transmission in many of the countries of southern Africa, little has been written about the way in which HIV/AIDS has been dealt with in the industrial settings in which many migrant workers are employed. This paper takes the gold mining industry in the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a case study. While many mines made substantial efforts to establish HIV-prevention programmes relatively early on in the epidemic, these appear to have had little impact. The paper analyses the response of key players in the mining industry, in the interests of highlighting the limitations of the way in which both managements and trade unions have responded to HIV. It will be argued that the energy that has been devoted either to biomedical or behavioural prevention programmes or to human rights issues has served to obscure the social and developmental dimensions of HIV-transmission. This argument is supported by means of a case study which seeks to highlight the complexity of the dynamics of disease transmission in this context, a complexity which is not reflected in individualistic responses. An account is given of a new intervention which seeks to develop a more integrated approach to HIV management in an industrial setting
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