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Commentary & Opinion
Multinational Companies Operating in India Must Address Country's Impending AIDS Crisis, Opinion Piece Says

February 25, 2004

International businesses, which are "racing to take advantage of India's workforce of well-educated and low-cost talent," are "infusing desperately needed foreign investment into the Indian economy" but have done "virtually nothing to address" AIDS, an "enormous problem ... looming on the horizon," Trevor Neilson, executive director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, writes in an Economic Times opinion piece. India is second only to South Africa in the number of HIV cases, Neilson says, adding that if infection rates follow a path similar to that of South Africa, hundreds of millions of Indians will become infected with HIV. Although some Indian businesses have started to take action by supporting prevention and awareness programs for employees and local communities, few U.S. corporate leaders -- with the exception of Bill Gates -- have said or done anything, Neilson says. AIDS is a threat to multinational companies operating in India, and the companies should invest in "aggressive testing, prevention and treatment efforts for employees and their families" to keep the country from "becoming the epicenter of the global AIDS crisis," Neilson concludes (Neilson, Economic Times, 2/22).

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