HIV/AIDS – Coming to a Corporate Boardroom near You

The scariest part of an epidemic is that it can easily cripple the economy of a country. The impact of an epidemic disease affects each and every single citizen, whether healthy or infected. This makes it very important that society, as one, should stand up and fight the disease. If not, like water down a drain, it slowly spreads to touch everyone in the society as it comes down.

But the fear that we feel should not be of the type that is so deep-seated that it leaves us debilitated. On the contrary, now is the time where everyone that is part of the society must roll up their sleeves and try to bring a change. This is even truer in the case of big businesses, both local and multinational companies, if they actually want to continue staying in business. Today, most of the people living with HIV/AIDS are in the 25 to 45 age group. These people are at the age where they are most productive and thus vital for the upward mobility and stimulation of a country’s economy. When they become unable to work due to complications caused by the disease, it makes it impossible for businesses to find the workforce needed to power their development.

The businesses that have taken the lead in this fight are, not surprisingly, pharmaceutical companies. While many may assume that it is because of their want of making a profit out of it, others can counter with the fact that they are morally obliged to do so, but for whatever reason all businesses, large and small, are pulling together for the long haul in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

To take some examples: in the media world, Black Entertainment Television (BET) has set up teams that go into the U.S. urban areas to teach the youth about safe sex and HIV awareness. In South Africa, after studies had shown that forty percent of the manufacturers there had reported a reduction of their profits due to HIV/AIDS, they realized that they had to join in the local healthcare services and assist with the prevention, testing and treating of the patients around them.

Multinational corporations have the finance that is critically needed to fight this epidemic. What they invest in the HIV/AIDS fight today will definitely lead to a healthy tomorrow – both socially and financially.

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