|The Business Response to HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2000, 79 p.)|
In the two decades we have been living with this epidemic the world has learnt many lessons. We should certainly have learnt that HIV and AIDS present us with enormous and varied challenges:
· We must have respect for the rights of those individuals living with HIV and compassion for all those facing the personal tragedies of HIV/AIDS.
· We must be prepared to stand against the prejudices and fears that prevent so many of us from connecting with the epidemic and those it affects.
· We must find the resolve and the patience to identify and implement the changes that can help prevent new infections and improve the circumstances of those people already infected.
Each of these challenges applies to business as much as it does to governments, NGOs and the general public. It has long been evident to me that business can make a critical contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Through the Global Business Council on HIV & AIDS, which I chair, these challenges can be brought to more and more business leaders and their companies.
My company, MTV, and the other Council members, try to lead by example, forming a group of businesses that have modelled good practice of one kind or another. We all began our work on AIDS for different reasons, but we share a common goal: to expand and enhance the business response to HIV/AIDS across the world.
For this reason I welcome this publication. It will be an invaluable tool in pursuing our goal because, like its predecessor The Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Innovation and Partnership, it brings together so many examples of real company action on HIV/AIDS that can inform and inspire others. The companies featured all responded to the Councils Awards for Business Excellence and between them reflect the imagination and commitment shown by businesses all around the world. They all deserve an award, not for doing what every business should try to do in some way - respond to HIV/AIDS - but for being in the vanguard of that response and for exposing their efforts to our scrutiny.
Many people from business will read this publication, as will many concerned with HIV in government and other agencies. Please, as you read, remember that we need to work together. Only through our combined efforts will we find the success that we all crave. We need each others support and understanding: this publication is a good place to start.
President, MTV Networks International
Chair, Global Business Council on HIV & AIDS