XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Private sector in Argentina engaged in prevention of HIV/AIDS and the rights of people living with HIV

A. Mercado Gurrola1, A. Dorigo1, M.C. Trejo1, K. Frieder2, P. Cahn3

1Fundación Huésped, Servicios a la Comunidad, Capital Federal, Argentina, 2Fundación Huésped, Dirección Ejecutiva, Capital Federal, Argentina, 3Fundación Huésped, Presidencia, Capital Federal, Argentina

Issues: Increased involvement on the part of the private sector in Argentina in respecting the human rights of employees living with HIV and in HIV prevention.
Description: Between 2007 and 2009, Fundación Huesped's Department for the Promotion of Rights received a total of 1,100 people living with HIV. 38% of the queries concerned discrimination in the workplace. The workplace can play an important role by providing a space for the dissemination of HIV-related information and the organisation of HIV training activities. The private sector is key in the HIV/AIDS response. Together with the Human Resources departments of various companies in Argentina (Coca-Cola, Global Crossing, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks and SADESA), Huesped has begun a new initiative focusing on HIV and the workplace. These companies have spearheaded a group entitled 'Companies engaged with the HIV/AIDS response'. To date, 300 Starbucks employees have been trained in HIV; 1,600 employees at Global Crossing have benefited from an HIV prevention campaign; and SADESA has donated resources. The companies have all amended their ethical codes to include anti HIV-related discrimination. They have pledged to expand the initiative to other companies.
Lessons learned: Commitment to HIV exists within the private sector, particularly in leading their own actions and increasing engagement of other actors. Increase work with national companies. Contact between companies is facilitated if peer-led.
Next steps: Encourage further HIV prevention efforts and the promotion of human rights in member companies in 2010. Work with employees and their families. The spearheading group will bring together more human resource managers and encourage them to join this initiative and hold awareness-raising meetings. Document good practice in HIV programming with the private sector. Reward those most committed on the 1st of December 2010.

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