World Economic Forum Global Health Initiative Releases First Report on Business Leaders’ Perceptions of, Responses to AIDS
The World Economic Forum Global Health Initiative on Wednesday at its 2004 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, released its 2003-2004 report, which is the first global survey of business leaders on their perceptions of and responses to HIV/AIDS, according to a GHI release. GHI, which collaborated with UNAIDS and the Harvard School of Public Health to survey 7,789 business leaders in 103 economic markets, found that 47% of firms felt that HIV/AIDS was impacting their businesses. In addition, the report>, titled "Business and HIV/AIDS: Who Me?," found that most business leaders make lower estimates of HIV prevalance rates among their workers than country-level UNAIDS estimates of adult HIV prevalence. The survey found that 16% of firms provide information about the risk of HIV infection to employees; 5% said that they provide antiretroviral drugs for all HIV-positive staff members; and less than 6% of firms have formal HIV policies. The report concludes that most companies are "not particularly active" in addressing HIV/AIDS, have been making HIV/AIDS policy decisions based on "fairly patchy assessment of the risks they face" and "seem to favor a broad social response" to the epidemic, according to the GHI release. The report recommends that information be generated and distributed on workforce HIV/AIDS prevalence, the impact of the epidemic on businesses with differing prevalence levels and the cost effectiveness of business-sponsored prevention programs. In addition, the report recommends that business coalitions and public-private partnerships continue to join in the fight against HIV/AIDS (GHI release, 1/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.