Cover Image
close this bookThe Business Response to HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2000, 79 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentProfile 1. American International Assurance, Thailand - Workplace evaluation and accreditation programme
View the documentProfile 2. The Body Shop, Japan - In-store HIV/AIDS campaigns
View the documentProfile 3. Warsaw Marriott Hotel, Poland - Hosting conferences for people living with HIV/AIDS
View the documentProfile 4. Larsen & Toubro Limited, India - Education and prevention programmes
View the documentProfile 5. Volkswagen do Brasil, Brazil - HIV/AIDS care programme
View the documentProfile 6. Molson, Canada - Cause-related marketing support for AIDS service organisations
View the documentProfile 7. Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Nigeria - Education and prevention programmes
View the documentProfile 8. Standard Chartered Bank, Uk - HIV/AIDS Policy and Awareness Programme
View the documentProfile 9. International Hotel & Restaurant Association - Workplace HIV/AIDS guide for hospitality industry
View the documentProfile 10. Anglo Coal, South Africa - Multi-pronged education, prevention and care programmes
View the documentProfile 11. Eskom, South Africa - Education and prevention programmes and monitoring
View the documentProfile 12. Alms, Czech Republic - Website information service on HIV/AIDS prevention
View the documentProfile 13. Teddy Exports, India - Workplace and local community education campaigns
View the documentProfile 14. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, USA - Care and support for women and children with HIV/AIDS
View the documentProfile 15. The Shell Company of Thailand, Thailand - Peer Education at the Pump Project
View the documentProfile 16. Business Coalitions on HIV/AIDS, Worldwide - Collaborative Advocacy and Action
View the documentProfile 17. International HIV/AIDS Alliance - Non-governmental organisation partnerships with business

Profile 9. International Hotel & Restaurant Association - Workplace HIV/AIDS guide for hospitality industry

Key lesson: Providing information through business network organisations

· Organisation description:

The International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) is a global trade organisation representing over 750,000 hospitality operators, associations and suppliers in more than 150 countries. Its mission is to inform and protect the hospitality industry, which it estimates comprises over 300,000 hotels, eight million restaurants world-wide and 60 million employees which contribute US$ 950 billion to the global economy annually.

· Number of employees:


· Contact:

Nicola Pogson

Director of Programme Development


251, Rue du faubourg St. Martin

75010 Paris


· Tel:

+33 1 4489 9400

· Fax:

+33 1 4036 7330

· Email:

1. Motivation for action

The hotel and restaurant industry is in a particularly vulnerable position with regards to the spread of HIV/AIDS being locations of high-risk activity. In the mid-1990s IR&RA identified the risks that the hospitality industry faced with regards to health issues amongst its employees and customers. HIV/AIDS can have serious impacts on levels of tourism, deterring visitors from high prevalence areas and as such would have obvious effects on this industry. Moreover, they recognised the extent of the global spread of HIV/AIDS and its increasing impact on society and economies and in particular on business operations. IH&RA, an organisation whose mission is to protect and inform its members, was in a good position to assist and influence the response to the pandemic through its diverse and extensive industry membership and networks.

2. Business response to HIV/AIDS

Various research initiatives undertaken by IH&RA ‘thinktanks’ between 1995 and 1998 highlighted the concerns and the impact of health-related issues on hotels and restaurants and their customers. In particular, they identified the link between the availability of accurate and adequate information and the quality of business actions in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and thus the need for guidelines to assist the industry.

In 1999, IH&RA, in collaboration with UNAIDS, developed workplace programme and policy guidelines specifically for the associations members. Advice and contributions to the guide were provided by HIV/AIDS NGOs, the Thailand Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, hotels, and regional and national hospitality associations. The primary aim was to provide practical-based information on how to protect their workforces and thus business operations. The guidelines include:

· Factual information on HIV/AIDS to raise awareness and to facilitate the design of workplace policies. For example, advice on the implications of personnel policies, particularly with reference to people living with HIV/AIDS.

· A summary of the business case for protecting the workforce from HIV/AIDS. This addresses general impacts on the business community, but more importantly it includes specific occupational risks within the industry. For example, they identify particular safety hazards to the workforces, such as handling blood-soiled linen and knife cuts.

· Guidance on how to assess the current position of the business in terms of being able to safeguard against HIV/AIDS and what is subsequently required. This is achieved through clear explanations of what workplace HIV/AIDS policy entails and how to go about creating and initiating policies and programmes.

· The provision of practical tools such as examples of successful workplace policies on HIV/AIDS adopted by other hotels and a template question and answer (‘commonly asked questions’) sheet. The inclusion of these tool serves as a useful mechanism for learning from the experience of others within the industry.

· Advice on how to extend business responses beyond the workplace and into local communities, such as information provision, resource sharing and undertaking partnerships with NGOs, public sectors and other businesses.

· Information on organisations that can assist in the development and implementation of HIV/AIDS policies and programmes.

3. Results and lessons

IH&RA guidelines are an example of the kind of assistance that can be provided to business to facilitate and speed up the process of responses to HIV/AIDS. Providing information and practical tools for specific business sectors or types is essential as responses need to be adapted as close as possible to the differing needs and activities of business.

In addition, given the level of access to the vast numbers of businesses and the geographical spread of its members, IH&RA and other similar business associations are in a unique position to advocate and assist in the greater response to HIV/AIDS through the provision of guidance and information.