Maintaining privacy and ensuring non-discrimination in the context of HIV/AIDS

This page presents all relevant good practice case studies that showcase how business have addressed the HIV/AIDS dilemma. Case studies have been developed in close collaboration with a range of multi-national companies and relevant government, inter-governmental and civil society stakeholders. We also draw on public domain sources, including the UN Global Compact's own published Communications on Progress through which signatories are required to report on their performance against the Ten Principles.

The case studies explore the specific dilemmas and challenges faced by each organisation, good practice actions they have taken to resolve them and the results of such action. We reference challenges as well as achievements and invite you to submit commentary and suggestions through the Forum.

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) North Star Alliance: Dealing with transport-specific dynamics - Southern and Eastern Africa

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Coca-Cola Company: HIV/AIDS education and treatment issues - Africa *

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Standard Chartered: Maintaining the momentum of HIV/AIDS education - Global

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) Global Business Coalition: Stigma as a barrier to participation in HIV testing - Global

IN-DEPTH (Print seperately) De Beers: Working in hyper-endemic countries - Botswana, Namibia, South Africa

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Improving global health systems - Global

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a global partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities aimed at attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat these three diseases. To date, the Global fund has provided resources for ART for 2.3 million people, 79 million counselling and testing sessions, and medical services, education and community care for 3.7 million orphans.

Global Health Institute of the World Economic Forum: platform public-private partnerships - Global

The Global Health Initiative aims to improve global health through advocacy, dialogue and partnerships. The initiative, which works with 230 companies and other organisations, acts as a platform for public-private partnerships. Its focus has been on Africa, India and China, and on communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, as well as TB and Malaria. The initiative is further focused on strengthening health systems.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative: Public-private research partnership - Global

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is a global not-for-profit, public-private partnership working to accelerate the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. The initiative’s scientific team works with more than 40 academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and government institutions to research and develop potential AIDS vaccines and to assess these potential AIDS vaccines through clinical trials and research.

GlaxoSmithKline: Preferential pricing in least developed countries - Global

GlaxoSmithKline has been providing preferential pricing of their ART medications to the developing world since 1997. These are offered at not-for-profit prices to the public sector and not-for-profit organisations – including all of the Least Developed Countries and sub-Saharan Africa. Other recipients include private employers in sub-Saharan Africa who provide care and treatment to uninsured staff, a number of Global Fund supported projects, and projects run by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. In 2008, it shipped 11.4 million preferentially priced Combivir tablets and 58.6 million Epivir tablets to the developing world.

Shell: Developing HIV/AIDS workplace programmes with NGOs - Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell’s HIV/AIDS workplace programmes are implemented in partnership with relevant local and international NGOs and other organisations. In Nigeria, the Shell Petroleum Development Company executed its workplace programme in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the United Nations, Institute of Human Virology, Planned Parenthood Foundation Nigeria, Population Service International, Family Health International, Society for Family Health and PharmAccess Foundation.

Unilever: HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in the community - Kenya and Tanzania

Unilever companies in Africa have implemented HIV/AIDS prevention programmes in the wider community, including the training of peer health counsellors, educational talks and materials, promotional events, and the distribution of free condoms. In Kenya and Tanzania, where Unilever runs hospitals for workers on its tea estates, the company is working to ensure that HIV/AIDS treatment is integrated with the local public healthcare infrastructure.

H&M: Partnering with the UNFPA to prevent HIV/AIDS among young people - Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, Turkey

In May 2009, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the international fashion retailer H&M announced a partnership to call attention to the issue of HIV among young people. H&M chose UNFPA as one of the recipients of its 2009 Fashion Against AIDS (FAA2) campaign. As a result, the retailer will give the agency 25% of donations to the campaign to support UNFPA’s HIV prevention projects in Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Turkey. H&M has launched the FAA2 campaign with the organisation Designers Against AIDS, which aims to raise AIDS awareness using elements from pop culture.

Warner Bros: Delivering prevention messages through video games - East Africa

In partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Warner Bros. has developed an action-based video game pilot (‘Pamoja Mtaani’ or ‘Together in the Hood’) to deliver HIV prevention messages to young people in East Africa. The game is part of The Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation.

Anglo Coal: Implementing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme - South Africa

Anglo Coal’s HIV/AIDS workplace programme follows a five pillar approach, focusing on voluntary counselling and testing; awareness, education and prevention; care, support and treatment; partnerships; and commitment to Anglo American’s six values. The company has taken strong steps to guarantee confidentiality and to raise awareness about its policy of non-discrimination policy. A total of 94 percent of Anglo Coal’s workforce has been tested for HIV.

Chevron: Assisting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria - Asia, Africa

In 2008, Chevron became the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s first-ever Corporate Champion - committing US$30 million over three years to Global Fund activities in a number of countries in Asia and Africa. The company’s physicians (numbering approximately 120) and healthcare professionals (numbering approximately 600) support innovative HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria policies and programs around the world.

Levi Strauss: Extending treatment and care to all employees and their families - Global

Levi Strauss is extending comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment and care - including access to ART, counselling, preventive care, and education - to all of its employees and their families. This extension, made under a 2006 Clinton Global Initiative commitment, makes it the first apparel company to provide such a comprehensive and global programme.

SABMiller: Promoting responsible sexual behaviour through ‘tavern talk’ – South Africa

In 2012, SABMiller worked in partnership with Men for Development in South Africa (MEDSA) and the South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (SABCOHA) on the development of the Tavern Intervention Programme (TIP) (with funding from The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria). TIP is based on local taverns and offers men a six-week course aimed at inspiring behavioural change. Modules include: (1) Responsible Alcohol Consumption; (2) HIV/Aids; (3) Gender-based Violence; and (4) Children's Rights and Parental Responsibilities.

In addition, this is supplemented by a Men's Support Group (MSG) – made up of the participants and meeting on a monthly basis. Subject experts are invited to present on topics such as Men’s Health, HIV/Aids and other relevant issues – and the MSG can share problems and advice, or even offer referral to social workers for further intervention. Behavioural changes are tracked through the MSGs. Partners in the initiative include the police, tavern owners/liquor traders associations, traditional leaders, ward councillors, Community Policing Forums, community development workers, Community Patrol Units, amongst others. The TIP will initially target 800 men per year across South Africa – over a period of five years.

Running alongside the TIP initiative is Project Promote, which uses SABMiller’s infrastructure (e.g. depots and delivery trucks) to deliver condoms to taverns. At the time of writing, the project had delivered around 8.5 million condoms to 4,600 taverns. It is estimated that this has helped avert around 17,000 new infections.

Dow Chemical: Workforce engagement commended by GBCHealth – South Africa

In 2011, the Global Business Coalition (known as GBCHealth) commended Dow Chemical for its workforce engagement programme in South Africa. Cited programme components include:

  • Disease management activities such as HIV testing, psychosocial counselling, antiretroviral and opportunistic infections treatments, home-based care and nutrition
  • Prevention activities such as condom distribution, peer education models, workplace forums and training
  • Community care and education
  • Specific interventions targeted at high-risk groups
  • Employee assistance programmes and health care funds for those without health insurance
  • Initiatives to promote general wellness
  • Related impact assessments

According to GBCHealth, this is in a context in which the company has achieved the following metrics in South Africa:

  • An employee HIV prevalence rate of just under 3% - significantly below the national average for other manufacturing companies of 15-20%
  • A zero mortality rate for those employees in its insured benefit fund
  • A voluntary counselling and testing participation rate of 90%
  • 100% enrolment of self-reported HIV positive employees on disease management programmes

GBCHealth highlights a number of ‘critical success factors’ for its commending of Dow Chemicals, including the following:

  • Application of a central roadmap of activities – including 27 defined work programmes
  • The application of multi-year targets for health outcomes
  • Its evaluation and reporting methodologies
  • The use of multi-stakeholder HIV/AIDS teams at each of its sites, which carry out risk analysis, implement tailored programmes, monitor progress and maintains contact with relevant stakeholders
  • The use of regular employee surveys and reporting mechanisms to promote ongoing improvement

Del Monte Kenya: Award-winning HIV outreach, education and counselling efforts – Kenya

In 2011, Del Monte Kenya (a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte Produce Company) was commended by the Global Business Coalition (known as GBCHealth) for its ongoing efforts to raise awareness, promote education and provide counselling on HIV/AIDS. The company has a factory with 6,000 workers in Thika, near to Nairobi. Its operations are potentially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to the fact that its location is populated by a large number of migrant workers and ‘people in transit’.

Amongst other things, the company:

  • Worked with the Gold Star Network to train its onsite medical team to deliver free testing, treatment and counselling for HIV/AIDS (as well as TB and malaria) at its clinics
  • Offers counselling and testing to its employees through Partners in Prevention – with 4,500 employees, dependants and others participating in testing in 2008, for example
  • Utilises 294 peer educators from both the workplace and the local community
  • Runs six dispensaries and offers a 24- hour ambulance service for employees and dependents
  • Distributes free condoms via workplace dispensers

GBCHealth highlights a number of ‘critical success factors’ for its commending of Del Monte Kenya, including the following:

  • Its long-term commitment to workplace awareness-raising – with activities first initiated in 2003 in partnership with local trade unions
  • Its ongoing partnering with NGOs to grow its programmes, respond to employee needs and to help other companies institute their own policies
  • Its work (with Wal-Mart through Hope Worldwide Kenya) to provide support and ‘life skills education’ to local young people – including computer training, entrepreneurship training and anti-addiction programmes
  • The use of innovative engagement initiatives, including an awareness-raising programme based on local motorbike taxi drivers

According to GBCHealth, the company’s ongoing programmes helped reduce prevalence rates in Thika from 37% in 2001/2 to 3.8% in 2008/9.

Apollo Tyres: Trucking community programme commended by GBCHealth – India

In 2011, leading Indian tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres was commended by the Global Health Coalition (known as ‘GBCHealth’) for its HIV/AIDS programmes that target trucking networks. Those who work in India’s trucking sector (who have an HIV prevalence rate of 2.5%) are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and associated sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) – and are (due to their mobility) relatively hard to integrate into normal prevention, testing and treatment services, as well as ongoing care.

As a result, Apollo Tyres established Health Care Centres in 17 logistical hubs across India – with a particular focus on those regions with large target populations and high levels of vulnerability to HIV. These centres provide testing, consultation, treatment and counselling not only to truck drivers – but also to commercial sex workers and migrant labourers. The centres are supported by a network of peer educators – ranging from barbers to shop owners – to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS amongst target populations and to refer people to the clinics. By March 2011, the centres had reached more than 870,000 people, treated more than 28,000 people for STIs and counselled more than 67,000 people.

Apollo Tyres also implements sensitisation programmes in its workplace and in its supply chain. Together, these programmes have (by helping train 885 peer educators and 45 ‘master trainers’) reached more than 17,000 workers in their own operations and those of their suppliers.

GBCHealth highlights ‘critical success factors’ for its commending of Apollo Tyres, including the following:

  • Full engagement of stakeholders across the spectrum – from customers to suppliers – using methods ranging from street plays to training sessions in manufacturing locations
  • The leveraging of strategic partnerships with public bodies including the State AIDS Control Society – as well as private organisations such as the Ambuja Cement Foundation (linked to Holcim Group) – to optimise collective resources and expertise, and avoid duplication of effort

Anglo-American: Longstanding HIV/AIDS programme makes tangible progress - southern Africa

In 2012, Anglo-American was recognised for its approach to sustainable development – receiving the highest score of all mining companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index that year. In part, this was due to its longstanding efforts to address HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis within its workforce in southern Africa. Anglo-American has offered free antiretroviral treatment (ART) to all of its employees since 2002. By 2012, it had reportedly tested and counselled around 95,000 employees and individuals within its supply chain. As a result of the company’s long-term investment in fighting the disease, in 2012 there were 25% fewer new HIV infections recorded than in 2002, and around 45% of estimated HIV-positive workers received free ART.


Sierra Rutile: Mining company provides voluntary HIV/AIDS testing to community – Sierra Leone

Sierra Rutile, a subsidiary of London-listed Titanium Resources Group, invests in a community programme which promotes awareness about HIV/AIDS and focuses on preventing the spread of the virus. In order to maximise the impact of the programme, the Sierra Leone-based mining company sponsored a HIV/AIDS study of the local community in 2012. The objective of the study, undertaken by the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat of Sierra Leone, was to obtain estimates of HIV prevalence and information on the behaviours that lead to HIV transmission. Sierra Rutile has implemented some of the study’s recommendations, which include providing voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and treatment services to the local community and among employees. Through its Sierra Rutile Foundation, the company’s health personnel are trained to conduct voluntary testing and counselling, as well as to administer antiretroviral drugs. Although these programmes form part of the company’s commitment to sustainability development, it is also hoped that improvements in healthcare for employees and local communities will help boost workplace productivity.


Xstrata Coal: Addressing HIV/AIDS in the workforce- and community-focused clinics/training – South Africa

Xstrata Coal has published a case study with the UN Global Compact examining how it works in partnership with the government and civil society in South Africa to help address HIV/AIDS.

The company notes that at one point, it was estimated that around 20% of Xstrata Coal’s workers were likely to be HIV positive. The company engaged with its workforce, labour unions, and a specialist NGO called Re-Action! to help address this serious issue. Discussions highlighted a range of challenges in addressing HIV/AIDS in the workforce – including limited understanding of the disease and high-risk sexual behaviour.

Xstrata worked with Re-Action! to address the situation – and in 2007, a public-private partnership was formed in 2007 with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government’s Department of Health. This was aimed at supporting the construction of eight clinics to provide services to an estimated 1 million people and to strengthen public sector HIV testing, care and treatment. This was in the expectation that the provincial government would ultimately take over the running of the clinics. The success of the programme means it has since been expanded into additional areas, where Xstrata Coal does not operate and has no employees.

The company also established a programme focused on ‘Wellness Champions’ and ‘Wellness Advocates’. These are patients who have been through testing, care and treatment processes themselves – and are thus able to explain related challenges and benefits (both within the workforce and the wider community). Furthermore, these company-sponsored HIV/AIDS activists help challenge stigma around the disease – making it more likely that the people they engage with will volunteer for testing. In recognition of the local cultural context, the programme also integrates traditional healers. These healers are given training on HIV/AIDS and are encouraged to refer people to the clinics where appropriate. Further details on the programme can be found in the original UN Global Compact accessible via the link below. 

UN Global Compact

Coca Cola Company: HIV/AIDS Policy and country specific solutions – Global

In 2008, Coca Cola launched a Global HIV/AIDS Policy, which outlines the company's principles on confidentiality, non-discrimination, education, testing, treatment and reasonable accommodation. The policy took as its foundation the International Labor Organization's code of practice on HIV/AIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.

Coca Cola applies country-specific solutions to its AIDS program. The Africa AIDS program includes prevention, awareness and treatment, including free condoms, confidential voluntary counselling, and testing for all of employees and associates, and their families. The company supplies free antiretroviral drugs to all employees.

The company has an HIV/AIDS policy or ‘Charter’ which is specific to its Africa operations. This Charter states that Coca Cola in Africa:

  • Is committed to non-discrimination on the basis of an employee’s HIV/AIDS status

  • Respects each employee’s right to privacy

  • Encourages voluntary disclosure by an HIV-positive employee so they can benefit from Company social and medical programmes

  • Supports voluntary testing and, therefore, will not, at any point, require new or existing employees to be screened or tested for HIV/AIDS

  • Believes in the principle of reasonable accommodation so  employees with HIV/AIDS are free to continue with their work until they are considered medically incapable

  • Encourages behavioural change and seeks to minimize the implications of HIV/AIDS through comprehensive, proactive HIV/AIDS workplace education and awareness programmes

  • Will identify community outreach opportunities and will establish and foster partnerships and linkages with governments and nongovernmental organisations for the implementation of our HIV/AIDS programmes


Ontarget Interactive: GBC Health recognition for online platform improving care for HIV-exposed infants – United States / Sub-Saharan Africa


In November 2015, Ontarget Interactive, a premier Digital Marketing Agency based in the United States, won a Business Action on Health Award, awarded by GBC Health. The award for Innovation & Technology to Improve Health was given to Ontarget Interactive for its work supporting non-profit group Global Health Innovations to design and develop an online platform that facilitates improved communication between clinics, laboratories, and mothers to improve care for HIV-exposed infants. To date, the HITSystem has enrolled nearly 12,000 HIV-exposed infants at over 110 health facilities in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. Pilot data has demonstrated a reduction in turn-around time from sample collection to notifying the mother of results, as well as a significant increase in the proportion of HIV-infected infants initiated on anti-retroviral therapy.


Schlumberger: Implementation of HIV/AIDS training for workers across 85 countries – Global


Oil and gas services company Schlumberger is committed to raising awareness about HIV/AIDs in the approximately 85 countries in which it operates. Such training is mandatory for all Schlumberger employees who work in or visit high-risk HIV/AIDS countries. Online training provides information about the origins of the disease, its symptoms, how it is transmitted, and prevention measures. Additional workshops are organised locally for workers and their families. Schlumberger places particular focus on providing age-specific training for young workers so that they can also educate their peers. Schlumberger notes that their first priority is their own workers and their families; however, the company is also taking the awareness campaign to high-risk communities.


* Taken from: UN Global Compact et al, Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide