Mexico national AIDS business council A.C. (CONAES): good for people - good for business
J. Salas, L. Zylberberg
Mexico National AIDS Business Council, Mexico, Mexico
Issues: CONAES is a civil society organization legally constituted on 13 October 2006. CONAES has as an objective to build a partnership of Mexico based companies committed to reducing HIV related stigma and discrimination in the workplace while strengthening their work to prevent HIV and other STIs among their workers.
Description: Twenty six companies with operations in Mexico came together to provide private sector leadership in the eradication of stigma and discrimination related to HIV in the workplace and to work collaboratively with both government and civil society. This is the first business council were companies have committed themselves to design and implement HIV specific policies. CONAES provides an opportunity for companies to increase their Corporate Social Responsibilities activities, to keep a healthy workplace environment where employees have information regarding HIV and can work free from HIV related stigma and discrimination. CONAES also gives companies an opportunity to work in a coordinated fashion with other interested companies, civil society organizations and with government officials on issues related to stigma, discrimination, prevention and best practices related to HIV
Lessons learned: Workplaces that foster healthy, informed environments where individuals and company policies encourage a stigma and discrimination free environment, with respect for sexual and gender diversity, tend to increase the wellbeing of the workers and productivity while reinforcing the companies' image as a socially responsible enterprise in the response to HIV.
Next steps: Continuing to be part of the national response to HIV by participating actively in the National AIDS Council and the CCM and offering technical assistance to interested parties as needed. Collaborating with other governmental agencies such as the National Council to Prevent Discrimination and with civil society organizations in both prevention and workplace policies related to HIV.
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