Asian Businesses Must Address HIV/AIDS, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS Says
Businesses in Asia have "not done nearly enough" to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region, members of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS said on Friday at a media briefing on the eve of the Williamsburg Conference, a gathering of Asian and American leaders in Bangkok, Thailand's Nation reports. "The HIV problem here is the tip of the iceberg, especially in the workplace" and "only 10% of what [businesses] should have done has been done," GBC President and CEO Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said (Khwankhom, Nation, 3/1). Asia has an estimated 7.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS, according to U.N. statistics (Peck, Associated Press, 2/28). The majority of those cases are among people of working age (Nation, 3/1). Holbrooke said that the epidemic is "too big a problem for governments alone," adding that businesses must help by educating their employees on HIV/AIDS, providing free HIV/AIDS testing and treatment and encouraging other companies to take similar measures (Associated Press, 2/28). The GBC released a new briefing paper advising companies on how to address the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and workplace discrimination. Bill Black, co-founder of the Asian Business Coalition on AIDS and the Business Coalition on AIDS in Singapore, said, "AIDS is a management issue that needs to be handled just as any other business issue. With commitment and collaboration, companies can educate their workers and extend awareness to the communities in which they operate" (GBC release, 2/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.