The Challenge

Friday, 7 October 2011 01:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka has a number of programmes and organisations that address HIV/AIDS in the workplace and its broader impact such as the National STD/AIDS Control Programme of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, ILO, UNAIDS, Chambers of Commerce, and the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. In addition, a National AIDS Committee has finalised the National AIDS Policy, a tripartite declaration signed by the government, employers, organisations and trade unions for the National Strategic Plan for Prevention of HIV/AIDS.

There have been numerous individual success stories of business responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, this is inadequate when the broader picture is considered. What is required is that businesses need to support the national response to HIV/AIDS by incorporating it as a part of its operational procedure.

Even though isolated centres of expertise, resources, and material are available on HIV/AIDS, there is a lack of engagement by the business community as well as a deficiency in accessing resources and prevalent best practices. Thus, the need of the hour to combat this crisis is a single entity that will act as a catalyst between the government, NGOs, the business community and the public.