business coalition on HIV/AIDS
China's health officials are currently faced with some of the
country's most pressing and unprecedented issues regarding public
health and social development. In this setting, the debate rages
on about reforms of the nation's health care system.
China's growing HIV/AIDS epidemic is one example of how the private
sector is taking on a proactive role in addressing one of China's
most challenging public health issues through collaborative interaction
with the government, international organizations and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) in a multi-sectoral response to combat HIV/AIDS.
At the vanguard of this initiative is the Global Coalition on
HIV/AIDS (GBC), a leading global organization mobilizing business
in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In 2004, the GBC created the China Business and AIDS Working
Group, bringing together over 60 businesses in China to help facilitate
business action on HIV/AIDS. The group is intended to bring together
Chinese and foreign businesses to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic
The work of the GBC in China is in close partnership with China's
Ministry of Health, integrating the GBC's network of over 200
leading Chinese and international companies which under the GBC
now represents a workforce of 4 million employees in 178 countries.
In March 2005, the GBC and the Chinese Ministry of Health hosted
a Joint Summit on Business and HIV/AIDS in Beijing to catalyze
business involvement on HIV/AIDS. The summit succeeded in identifying
actionable ways by which the private sector can partner the government
to advance China's national HIV/AIDS strategy for prevention and
Following the summit, an increasing number of companies are now
acting to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic by leveraging their resources
and expertise in the national fight against HIV/AIDS. They are
working to also implement prevention and control policies in their
own offices and facilities targeted at protecting their employees
and businesses from HIV/AIDS.
Additional objectives of these companies led by the GBC are to
not only to succeed through action in the workplace but also in
the community. They represent an important function of the private
sector in the healthcare system as advocates of early intervention
and prevention as the key to avoiding a national AIDS crisis.
The GBC member companies benefit from a three-step business management
model called the "Business AIDS Methodology" (BAM) for
the design and implementation of corporate responses to HIV/AIDS.
Applied in three steps - situation analysis, strategy design and
strategy implementation - there are four key areas identified
where businesses can act: Advocacy and Leadership, Workplace,
Core Competency and Community Involvement.
Examples of how GBC member companies in Beijing have already
demonstrated their commitment to implementing community projects
include Bayer and Merck, Sharp Dome.
MSD's Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership is a $30 million project
over a five-year period, established in 2005 with the Ministry
of Health to prevent the spread of HIV, support people infected
or affected by HIV/AIDS, and to reintegrate people living with
HIV/AIDS as productive members of their communities.
Bayer China and Tsinghua University last year started an innovative
public health initiative, the "Tsinghua-Bayer Public Health
and HIV/AIDS Media Studies Programme" designed to promote
and support the vital role that the media plays in China as a
strategic resource in educating as well as in shaping public attitudes
and understanding about HIV/AIDS. These are all critical factors
in creating awareness, prevention, giving care and reducing stigmatization
While the burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis threatens to undermine China's
economic progress, the GBC plans to scale up its work in China
by establishing an office very soon in Beijing in space provided
by one of its member companies Sohu.com.
Addressing HIV/AIDS is a task for all sectors of society. A workplace
HIV/AIDS programme or other private sector initiatives do not
operate in isolation from government, local communities, other
companies or civil society groups.It is one of many contributors
to an overall national effort to control the disease and its impact.
In this capacity, the private sector is making a contribution
to China's health care reforms by offering options to solve some
of the biggest health-related issues confronting China and its
(August 31, 2005)