How Businesses Helped Stem The AIDS Epidemic

April 12, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

The fight against AIDS was led by many groups – from activists to governments – writes The Economist. One of these groups is corporations:

  • Businesses in South Africa became increasingly concerned about the spread of AIDS. Certain groups of workers such as miners who lived in areas rife with prostitution were particularly at risk for the disease.
  • At one point AIDS had spread so widely that companies were training two employees for every job, just in case one fell sick.
  • To deal with this companies launched programs such as free AIDS testing, and free drug treatments for those who were diagnosed with AIDS.
  • Mining offices began to receive weekly emails outlining which offices had the lowest rates of AIDS – or, as one commentator put it, which mine was the safest to have sex in.
  • The initiatives worked, and AIDS has become a much more manageable disease.
  • Companies that launched the programs have realized other benefits from instituting the controls. From improved employee morale to lower staff turnover. In fact the AIDS programs might soon begin to pay for themselves.

Read more about other industries that helped fight AIDS, how companies helped alter the political climate in South Africa, and how obeisity might be the next battle for businesses over here.

Source: The Economist