Corporations’ Profits, Economic Progress Could Be ‘Hampered’ Without Response to HIV/AIDS Among Employees, BusinessWeek Commentary Says
Multinational corporations must "embrace aggressive AIDS tactics," or profits and economic progress could be severely hampered," reporter Catherine Arnst writes in a BusinessWeek commentary. Some companies, including General Motors, Anglo American, Nike, ChevronTexaco, BMW, Heineken and Coca Cola, have developed "successful" AIDS policies for their employees in Africa and Asia that cost "far [less] than might be expected," Arnst says. However, Arnst says many more businesses are "doing nothing." Of the estimated 1,620 companies that operate in Africa, 67% expect HIV/AIDS to affect their profits over the next five years, but only 12% have AIDS policies, according to a report by the World Economic Forum, Arnst says. In addition, only 21 out of 100 large multinational companies have AIDS programs, according to a survey conducted by the United Nations, Arnst adds. Because "[f]ew governments are adequately addressing" the pandemic, businesses should "respond to the entreaties from AIDS organizations to pick up the slack," Arnst writes. If multinational corporations do not address AIDS, their employees and customers in developing countries will "inevitably fall victim" to the epidemic, Arnst concludes (Arnst, BusinessWeek, 8/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.