Chinese Officials Recruiting Foreign Companies, Community-Based Groups, Trade Unions to Join Fight Against HIV/AIDS
March 5, 2007
Chinese officials have begun enlisting international companies, community-based organizations and trade unions to join the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Times, the government "hopes it can reach vulnerable groups more quickly" by recruiting companies and organizations that "have influence with consumers or have large workforces." The Chinese government in January partnered with the International Labor Organization, the Chinese Enterprise Confederation and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions to launch a program to provide HIV/AIDS education in the workplace, according to the Times. The program, which is funded in part by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, initially will target migrant workers from rural China, "who are more likely to engage" in risky sexual behavior, the Times reports. In addition, L'Oreal, which belongs to the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, recently launched its Red Ribbon campaign for HIV/AIDS in the country. L'Oreal has begun distributing name tags and posters with a red ribbon logo to 11,000 high-profile salons using its products in China. China's beauty salons "provide an extensive network for spreading" HIV/AIDS messages, the Times reports. According to the Times, the company "hopes the publicity will make it easier for its hairstylists, more than half of whom are men, to broach sensitive topics such as homosexuality or safe sex with their largely female clientele." L'Oreal spokesperson Lan Zhenzhen said, "Having the posters in the salon, this creates a safe atmosphere," adding, "People can ask questions. They can talk about AIDS." In addition, privately owned Chinese companies slowly are starting to join HIV/AIDS advocacy campaigns, often at the encouragement of foreign business partners, according to the Neeraj Mistry, GBC's technical director. Thomas Cai -- founder of AIDS Care China, a not-for-profit group that assists people living with HIV/AIDS in accessing treatment and housing -- said that having well-known companies, including L'Oreal, join the fight against HIV/AIDS could be helpful because the companies can reach a different sector of the population (Iritani, Los Angeles Times, 3/3).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.