The power of companies starts with their own workforce. Things like workplace policies and programs play a major role in disease fighting efforts worldwide. Strong workplace policies and programs increase the rate of HIV and TB testing and treatment, facilitate open discussion about health and help to de-stigmatize the diseases in the workplace.
Employees are the backbone of business. Companies have a fundamental interest in keeping their employees healthy. Coalition members have found that the cost of preventing and treating illness in the workplace is less than the associated costs with letting that illness go untreated (for example increased absenteeism and reduced productivity).
Strong workplace policies and programs don't need to be expensive and can help to increase the rate of HIV and TB testing and treatment, facilitate open discussion about health and help to de-stigmatize the diseases in the workplace. After establishing comprehensive workplace programs, many companies have extended their health services to employee families.
Ensuring that employees are not discriminated against for their actual or perceived HIV status is the most basic step that all companies can take to reduce stigma among their workforce. CEOs from more than 100 Coalition member companies made an unprecedented pledge on World AIDS Day 2008 to end workplace HIV discrimination and stigma among their employees. The historic commitment affects approximately five million employees around the world.