Commentary & Opinion
Businesses "Must Get Engaged Now" to Reduce Spread of HIV/AIDS, Editorial Says
January 24, 2006
"Corporations must get engaged now" to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., Playboy Enterprises Chairman and CEO Christie Hefner writes in a Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece. According to Hefner, research shows that U.S. companies lose more than $250 billion in productivity each year because of illnesses, including HIV/AIDS. Businesses need to develop "fair ways" to keep a healthy workforce in the face of rising health care costs, and employers "should be encouraging workers" to get tested and seek treatment for HIV. She writes, "Employees [living with HIV/AIDS] should not be isolated and stigmatized," acknowledging that the private sector, not-for-profits and government agencies must unite to address and reverse the rising HIV/AIDS rates among certain demographics, such as minority and female employees. Hefner adds that there are examples "where new collaborations may have an impact," but business leaders "can play an even larger role, and it is clearly in their best interest to do so." Hefner writes, "Employers are a credible source for health information, but more companies have to be willing to deliver HIV/AIDS awareness information," adding, "Our communities, businesses and country depend on it" (Hefner, Chicago Sun-Times, 1/22).
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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.