The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday will award nine companies for their efforts to fight the three diseases among employees, South Africa's Business Day reports. The coalition is a group of 220 companies worldwide that aim to address HIV, TB and malaria in the workplace.

The South African company Xstrata Coal will receive an award for its work in developing a public-private partnership with the health and social services department in Mpumalanga, South Africa, to improve HIV services at clinics in communities where the company operates. The Standard Bank will be awarded for its HIV/AIDS program, which uses a storytelling technique to reduce HIV-associated stigma and to encourage employees to be tested for the virus. The company also provides HIV-positive employees with treatment and care. In addition, Telkom will be awarded for its efforts to promote HIV testing and counseling among employees and their families. Two-thirds of Telkom employees and their partners have been tested for HIV since the program was implemented, Business Day reports (Kahn, Business Day, 6/4).

GBC also plans to recognize Becton, Dickinson and Company for its efforts to improve access to TB diagnostic equipment in developing countries. Exxon Mobil also will be recognized for committing $45 million to malaria research, and community disease control and advocacy. Other GBC award recipients include Viacom for HIV/AIDS leadership, Johnson & Johnson for its work with the mothers2mothers program, BBC World Service Trust for its HIV/AIDS media campaign in India and the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo for its community project in Malawi.

The awards will be presented during a ceremony in New York City. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to speak at the event. UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot, U.N. Special Envoy for Tuberculosis Jorge Sampaio, U.N. Special Envoy for Malaria Ray Chambers and Michel Kazatchkine -- executive director of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- also are expected to attend the ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled ahead of the U.N. 2008 High-Level Meeting on AIDS, scheduled for June 10 to June 11.

"Business action is making a critical difference," GBC President and CEO Richard Holbrooke said, adding, "If we get it right -- and our partners are depending on us to do just that -- business has the power to reach millions of people in a way that no other organization can. It possesses the skills, resources and influence to achieve otherwise inconceivable outcomes. We need many, many more to make their own contribution" (GBC release, 6/4).

An archived Webcast of the event will be available online at kaisernetwork.

Reprinted with kind permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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