Business yet to recognise AIDS threat

Business leaders around the globe have failed to recognise the gravity of the threat posed by the AIDS epidemic to their companies' future, says the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).

    40 million adults across the world are afflicted with HIV/AIDS

    Citing results of an opinion survey among executives, the WEF said on Monday it showed business was not yet playing a significant role in fighting the disease.

    The survey was released to coincide with World AIDS Day.

    Even company chiefs who expressed concern about the present and future impact of AIDS on their businesses and the communities they serve, have generally failed to implement measures to counter the menace, it added.

    The WEF organises an annual gathering of top businessmen and political figures in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. 

    According to estimates from the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), 40 million adults are living with HIV/AIDS
    all over the world, of whom an estimated 26.6 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. It says five million new victims have been infected with HIV this year.

    "WEF survey results highlight the urgent need for businesses,  particularly in Asia, to take action now"

    Peter Piot,
    UNAIDS executive director

    Of nearly 8000 firms surveyed in 103 countries, the WEF said, only 21% felt that HIV/AIDS would have a severe impact on their business, while 47% felt it would have "some impact". 

    The danger-awareness figures were much lower in countries not yet badly hit by the disease. 

    In sub-Saharan Africa, which is the worst-hit region, 89%of firms thought it would have some negative effect on their business, while in the Middle East and North Africa, the figure dropped to 33%.  

    In a comment to be issued with the full report, UNAIDS Executive Director, Peter Piot, said the survey showed the huge size of the task facing campaigners in heightening perceptions of the menace to global economic and social stability. 

    The threat, Piot declared, is not confined to sub-Saharan Africa, and the survey's results highlighted the urgent need for businesses in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia,to take immediate action.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.