December 11, 2003
According to the survey, most companies have not responded to the epidemic, McDonald said, adding that only 25% of companies surveyed have implemented formal HIV/AIDS policies and fewer than 20% of companies have a voluntary counseling and testing program or provide care, treatment and support to HIV-positive employees. However, employers are implementing some "less resource-intensive interventions," including workplace HIV/AIDS awareness programs, and 41% of participating companies said that they had implemented an HIV/AIDS awareness program, McDonald said, according to the South African Press Association. McDonald said that company responses were connected to company size, with most of the larger companies saying that they have HIV/AIDS policies and small companies with less than 100 employees "having done little in the way of action against the epidemic," the South African Press Association reports. McDonald said that business response to HIV/AIDS should be "speeded up," adding, "With rising HIV prevalence and clear evidence of the adverse impact of the epidemic on business in South Africa, companies should not be lagging behind with regard to the implementation of HIV/AIDS policies and programs" (South African Press Association, 12/10). He added, "HIV/AIDS is undoubtedly a bottom line issue for business, as it impacts on production costs and consumer markets" (Reuters, 12/10).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.