HIV/AIDS - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on business and HIV/AIDS.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the HIV/AIDS section of our site.  Please note that we have a separate section of our site on "HIV/AIDS discrimination".

Key international standards

International Labour Organization, ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work [PDF]: principle 4.2

Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, UN General Assembly Resolution 60/262 (2006) [PDF]: paragraph 29

Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, UN General Assembly Resolution S-26/2 (2001) [PDF]: paragraphs 37, 58 and 66

UN Human Rights Commission resolutions on “The protection of human rights in the context of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)”:
     - Resolution 1999/49
     - Resolution 2001/51
     - Resolution 2003/47

International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights [PDF], Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS): guidelines 5, 9 and 10

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: article 25

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: article 12

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: General Comment 14

Key reports & guidance

Saving lives, Protecting jobs [PDF], ILO International HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme, Mar 2008. [También disponible en español] [Aussi disponible en français].

HIV/AIDS and work: global estimates, impact on children and youth, and response [PDF], International Labour Organization, Dec 2006 [También disponible en español] [Aussi disponible en français].

More Companies are Creating Programs to Help Alleviate Worldwide HIV/AIDS Epidemic, Conference Board, Apr 2008.

World Economic Forum report highlights businesses tackling AIDS, World Economic Forum, Jan 2008.

Good Practice Guidance on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria [PDF], International Council on Mining and Metals, Aug 2008.

Business and HIV/AIDS: What have we learnt? [PDF], Business Action for Africa, Sep 2007.

Positive corporate responses to HIV/AIDS:  a snapshot of large cap South African companies [PDF], Dani Law, EIRIS, Nov 2008.

Business decision makers' survey on HIV and AIDS: The Boardroom speaks, [Namibia] PricewaterhouseCoopers & Namibia Business Coalition on AIDS (NABCOA), May 2008.

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding HIV/AIDS.  We also indicate when a company has not responded.

Global: Report by Reuters examines HIV/AIDS in the mining industry.  Includes comments on prevention efforts of Anglo American, Jul 2007. Response from Anglo American.

Global: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility rates 15 pharmaceutical firms on HIV/AIDS - finds none has comprehensive approach, Aug 2006.  Responses from Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Tibotec, Wyeth.  No response received from Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Hoffman-La Roche, sanofi-aventis, Schering-Plough.

Global: Physicians for Social Justice (Nigeria) says companies’ responses to Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility report are a “cover” for their insufficient action to ensure access to essential medicines [DOC], Nov 2006. Response by Novartis, Pfizer. No response received from Abbott Laboratories.

Global: Médecins Sans Frontières says prices of essential new AIDS drugs in developing countries are too high, June 2005. Responses from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Abbott Laboratories. No response received from Gilead Sciences.

Cambodia: Australian Council of Trade Unions campaign raises concerns about health & working conditions of "beer promotion women", Jun 2006. Response from Anchor, Carlsberg, Heineken, InBev. No response received from Anheuser-Busch.

Guatemala: Bristol-Myers Squibb supports intellectual property legislation that HIV/AIDS patients & NGOs such as Oxfam warn will restrict access to HIV/AIDS medicines, Apr 2005. Response from Bristol-Myers Squibb. [También disponible en español]

South Africa: Bench Marks Foundation report says platinum mines in North West Province owned by companies putting workers' & communities' health at risk, Jul 2007. Response from Anglo Ashanti, Implats, Xstrata. No response received from Lonmin.

Positive steps by companies

Global: Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria - 8 firms receive business excellence awards, including Anglo Coal, Marathon, Shell, Standard Chartered, Unilever.

Africa: GlaxoSmithKline creates £50 million fund to treat African children with AIDS - UK Parliamentarian welcomes the pledge, but says working with UNITAID would have wider impact.

Latin America: Television companies commit to addressing AIDS including Canal 13 (Argentina), Ecuavisa, TC Television, Telefe, Televisa, TV Azteca, TV Globo. [También disponible en español]

Middle East: Regional business coalition on HIV/AIDS for Arab world launched by companies including Standard Chartered.

China:  Qingdao Double Butterfly & other companies make commitment to fight HIV/AIDS in China

Honduras: Gildan teaches its employees about occupational health, security, and HIV/AIDS. [Spanish only]

India: Reliance partners with UNAIDS to expand access to HIV/AIDS services for the poor.

Indonesia: L'Oréal partners with UNESCO to encourage hairdressers to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS.

So. Africa: Large So. African companies including De Beers step up HIV/AIDS testing & treatment for workers.

Tanzania: British Airways-UNICEF programme aims to curb mother-to-child HIV infection. 

Uganda: Century Bottling Company undertakes employee, community HIV testing campaign.

UK: Prudential first mainstream insurer to offer life coverage for people with HIV.

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Related stories and components

14 July 2009

GlaxoSmithKline to inject £60m into HIV and Aids drugs in Africa

Author: Graham Ruddick, Telegraph [UK]

GSK will create a new Positive Action for Children Fund that will have access to £50m over the next 10 years, and has also granted Aspen Pharmacare, in which it acquired a 16pc stake in May, a royalty-free licence to develop a cheaper, generic version...

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3 July 2009

Court case highlights workers rights [Namibia]

Author: UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) Plus News

In a landmark case in Namibia, 22 hotel workers are taking their employer and a doctor to court for allegedly testing them for HIV without their informed consent...According to the [plaintiffs'] lawyer...Linda Dumba Chikalu, of the...Legal Assistance...

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24 June 2009

Global Honors Show Path for Ending Disease, Despite Fewer Resources

Author: Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

With the global recession threatening health initiatives worldwide, and private sector expertise needed more than ever before, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will honor eight standard-setting companies for their...

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15 May 2009

Lambda Legal Files Suit Against Assisted-Living Facility for Allegedly Discriminating Against HIV-Positive Resident [USA]

Author: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report [USA]

Lambda Legal…on Tuesday filed a law suit against the Fox Ridge assisted-living facility in North Little Rock, Ark., for allegedly evicting a resident because he is HIV-positive…The suit alleges that Parkstone [Living Center] violated the Fair Housing...

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29 April 2009

Insurer offers life cover to people with Aids virus

Author: Emma Simon, Telegraph [UK]

Prudential is to become the first mainstream insurer to offer life cover to people with HIV, the virus that causes Aids…The policy – from PruProtect, a joint venture between Prudential and a South African firm – will offer policyholders up to £250,000...

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18 February 2009

Top Latin American Television Companies Commit to Addressing AIDS

Author: Kaiser Family Foundation

Senior executives of leading media companies from Latin America announced the establishment of the Iniciativa de Medios Latinoamericanos sobre el SIDA (IMLAS) -- the first Latin American Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS…the new Partnership promotes...

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30 November 2008

[PDF] Positive corporate responses to HIV/AIDS: : a snapshot of large cap South African companies

Author: Dani Law, EIRIS [with thanks to Stephanie Maier]

EIRIS’ latest report analyses the corporate response to HIV/AIDS of the top 40 large cap South African companies listed on the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index. Key findings [include:] Companies perform well on HIV/AIDS strategy but performance on training is...

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5 September 2008

Security guard fired after HIV disclosure, suit claims [USA]

Author: Philip Walzer, The Virginia Pilot [USA]

A Portsmouth man has accused a security company of firing him because he is HIV-positive…The man, Carlos Weatherspoon, worked as a security guard for DECO Security Services Inc. at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth from January 2006 to October 2007....

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4 September 2008

BA, UNICEF out to curb mother-to-child HIV infection [Tanzania]

Author: Damas Makangale, Tanzania Standard Newspaper

British Airways (BA) and the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF)…“Change for good” programme has donated over 559,000 US Dollars to fund UNICEF’s work…for the prevention of mother to child [HIV] transmission and to strengthen…community based...

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31 August 2008

Uganda: Coca Cola in HIV Testing Outreaches

Author: New Vision [Uganda]

...Century Bottling Company [part of Coca-Cola Sabco] employees took HIV tests…Thereafter, the company took the campaign to the community neighbouring its premises. Employees sensitised community members about HIV/AIDS…"The campaign is a way of...

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