Today's News

Major firms creating workplace programs to alleviate HIV/AIDS (4/10)

April 10, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Major companies are creating a wide variety of programs to help employees deal with the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to a report released today by The Conference Board, a global business research and membership organization.

The report finds that 82 percent of the 134 major firms surveyed have HIV/AIDS programs aimed at helping employees already suffering from the disease or at risk of infection.

The study is based on a survey of 134 leading health-benefits and HR executives, as well as in-depth interviews with directors of company HIV/AIDS programs and attorneys specializing in disability and HIV/AIDS law. The study builds on a 1997 report on the corporate response to this dilemma. It also draws on the experiences of companies whose operations in sub-Saharan Africa and other high-prevalence regions have put them on the disease’s front lines, according to The Conference Board.

More than two-thirds of the surveyed companies have been affected by HIV/AIDs, with one-fifth of these firms anticipating a growing impact of this epidemic over the next three years. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67 percent of all adults and children suffering from HIV last year. The disease has yet to peak in most of southern Africa.

Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe/Central Asia are high-risk regions. Asia accounted for 14.5 percent of global HIV cases in 2007, and a 23.1 percent rise in the rate of the newly infected between 2001 and 2007. Latin America accounted for 4.8 percent of all cases and a 23.1 percent increase in new infections. Eastern Europe/Central Asia accounted for 4.8 percent of all cases, and a 34 percent hike in new infections.

Worldwide, the number of people living with HIV rose from 29 million in 2001 to 33.2 million in 2007. Forty percent of new cases are among individuals 15 to 24, the age at which employees are just entering the workforce. Companies feel the impact of HIV/AIDS in many ways, including greater absenteeism and turnover, and higher healthcare and insurance costs.

Some key findings of the study:

• More than 90 percent of firms plan to maintain or increase their spending on HIV/AIDS over the coming years.

• North America and Western/Central Europe account for 3.9 percent and 2.3 percent of all HIV cases, respectively, and experienced flat rates of new infections between 2001 and 2007.

• Regardless of location, respondents identified the following non-financial concerns as the top motivators for investing in HIV/AIDS related programs: social responsibility; creating and sustaining an inclusive environment for all employees; welfare of employees living with HIV/AIDS.

• Three-quarters of firms report some type of gain from their programs. Top gains include increased awareness of the risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS, decreased fears of becoming infected, increased worker morale, increased motivation and commitment, and decreased absenteeism.

• Corporate initiatives vary from education and prevention to counseling and treatment, depending on company priorities, industry and location.

For a copy of the report, email courter@conference-board.org.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN SEPTEMBER 2014 COVER

2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.