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Backus says NO to labor discrimination against HIV/AIDS

13 March 2009

Backus is one of the first companies to sign the Declaration of Adherence to the National Efforts in Response to HIV/AIDS

Lima, March 10, 2009.  Recently, during the event called "The business world responds to HIV/AIDS", summoned by the International Organization of Labor (Organización Internacional del Trabajo, OIT), Unión de Cervecerías Peruanas Backus y Johnston ("Backus") joined efforts to answer the problem of HIV - AIDS in businesses, through the signing of the Declaration of Adherence to the National Efforts in Response to HIV/AIDS.
In this way, Backus became on of the fist national companies committed to face openly the labor discrimination towards people infected with HIV-AIDS.  More specifically, the company as a part of its management model is considering 10 priorities of sustainable development, looking to contribute in a reduction of HIV-AIDS in its circle of influence, through the implementation of programs of awareness, information, education and prevention, directed to their partners and their families.  This according to Magdalena Morales Valentín, Manager of Social Projects of Backus, during the meeting summoned by the OIT.

Additionally, at the event, where representatives from MINSA (Ministry of Health of Peru), MINTRA (Ministry of Labor of Peru), ONUSIDA (UNAIDS), USAID, CEN AIDS Brasil, were present, as well as diverse NGOs and private business, Mrs. Morales presented her companies' answers to dealing with HIV/AIDS that her company has been developing as well as the educational actions that they are executing with their partners and families.

"As a part of the project that we have been working, we educate the workers, their spouses and their dependents through information sessions coordinated with the Consorcio Miradas y Voces (Consortium of Looks and Voices), an entity specializing in this topic. We have also developed volunteer activities directed to institutions with patients infected where the partners and families can participate", Morales explained.
Certainly, the Declaration of Adherence to the National Efforts in Response to HIV/AIDS represents a commitment of the signing companies to realize greater efforts to contribute from their circle of influence, under the spirit of the Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (Social Responsibility of Companies) under RM Nº 376-2008-TR "National Measures against HIV and AIDS in the workplace".  In fact, the intention of the signing companies is to force the business sector to face the impact of HIV in the context of the principles of the Global Pact.

About HIV in Peru

According to the last report of the Direction of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, Peru has 22,524 cases of AIDS and 33,000 HIV infections.  However, these numbers are only approximate, since the real statistics reach 80 to 90 thousand Peruvians.  71% of infected people are located in Lima, the majority becoming infected between the ages of 16 and 24.

Also, in Latin America and the Caribbean, HIV mostly affects workers of the most productive ages, infecting close to one in 20 adults between the ages of 18 and 49, compromising the active workforce.  The OIT estimates that approximately 28 million workers have lost their lives as a result of HIV in the world since the disease was first detected.

In the case of Peru, as per MINSA until December 2008 22, 726 cases of AIDS and 33,519 of HIV have been diagnosed (50% are younger than 35 years old), the rate of men against women is 3 to 1, 97% of them contracting it through sex and the majority of acquiring the virus between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age.

For mor information, contact:
Cecilia Quevedo / Dora Vallejos
Backus External Relations (311-3000)
Magalli Pacheco / Lorena Velazco
LLORENTE & CUENCA (222-9491 Anexos 211 - 262)

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