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en/business-aids-2006-0#c32064

Business and AIDS: The risk of epidemic dawns [China]

Author: Angelica Wiederhecker, Financial Times, Published on: 1 December 2006

[M]ultinational companies are becoming increasingly involved in a range of Aids programmes around the country... Lafarge...maintains education programmes for employees and capacity building partnerships with local NGOs...Only a few years ago...[t]he government’s reluctance to give up control combined with conservative attitudes towards sex made it difficult for foreign business to find a role [in the fight against HIV/AIDS]…the Sars epidemic...changed [how]...the government dealt with public health issues... There are dozens of…projects sponsored by the private sector targeting the problem…from education and awareness programmes to increasing the capacity of local NGOs. One of the biggest investments has come from Merck...which is [funding] training for healthcare professionals, condom distribution and identifying high-risk groups. Bayer has [set]...up a training course in HIV/Aids issues for journalists...Standard Chartered Bank has introduced...awareness programmes for new employees and [encourages] staff to be tested. Yet...health officials say there are still plenty of problems in China’s approach to Aids...[S]ome officials say there has been a reluctance from many state-owned companies to get involved in Aids programmes.

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Related companies: Bayer Lafarge (part of LafargeHolcim) Merck Standard Chartered