CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies launched an advocacy campaign this week for World AIDS Day that calls for the end of travel restrictions on HIV positive people. The campaign included an op-ed in the Huffington Post, a full-page ad in the Financial Times, a social media campaign, media coverage and a press conference and panel appearance at the United Nations.
Nearly 50 CEOs from some of the world's largest companies have signed a pledge to use their voices to oppose HIV travel restrictions, which still exist in 45 countries.
CEO Kenneth Cole and Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., authored an op-ed that was featured on the front page of the Huffington Post arguing, why travel bans are bad are for business.
Companies also spread awareness through a coordinated social media campaign that included blogs and hundreds of Tweets from CEOs and public figures such as Sarah Brown, the former U.K. first lady and an advocate for girls and education, and Virgin’s Richard Branson, who signed the pledge.
The Financial Times ran a full-page advertisement on the CEO pledge and it was featured in The Times of London.
And GBCHealth’s Managing Director and Co-Interim President Michael Schreiber addressed the CEO action at the United Nations on Thursday.
“We signed the pledge because we know that CEOs can influence governments around the world,” Bergh and Cole wrote in their op-ed. “HIV travel restrictions belong squarely in the camp of anti-business regulation that hurts free and fair trade. As global business leaders with significant investments in countries around the world, we call on the 45 remaining countries to repeal their HIV restrictions immediately. Doing do will put an end to these archaic and discriminatory practices and will allow businesses to operate at their fullest potential on a global scale."