According to the latest United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS) report, there are approximately 34 million people living with HIV/Aids, with 2.7 million new infections and 1.8 million related deaths in 2010 around the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, where we have many local businesses, there are 22.9 million people infected alone. Aside from the social and moral imperative to take action, our extensive presence in affected countries makes it commercially important that we take steps to address the issue.
Some countries outside Africa are also considered to be at risk from HIV/Aids epidemics in the future. Given our experience in Africa, it makes sense to intervene now, while prevalence levels are still low, to work to alleviate the scale and impact of such epidemics. Countries with a growing problem include Panama, Honduras and India.
Why this is a priority
Contributing to the reduction of HIV/Aids is particularly important and relevant for our operations in Africa and in those countries with emerging epidemics, in regions such as Latin America. HIV/Aids has the potential to affect our workforce, our customers and our supply of raw materials, as well as having an impact on the economic development and stability of the communities in which we operate.
The extent and consequences of the HIV/Aids pandemic makes managing this issue an operational imperative, aside from the social and moral imperative to take action. We work with a variety of stakeholders (such as other companies, governments and NGOs) to develop robust solutions and multi stakeholder partnerships that build capacity and are sustainable, and amplify the impact of our work in the fight against HIV/Aids.
Our position on HIV/Aids: the need to contribute to the reduction of HIV/Aids within our sphere of influence