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Amid International Calls for Business Help in Fighting Pandemics, Global Honors Point the Way Forward

Published 06-04-08

Submitted by GBCHealth

New York, NY - June 4, 2008 - At a decisive crossroads in the struggle against global epidemics, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will honor nine companies implementing the most sophisticated, effective programs using the particular and pivotal capabilities of business to fight disease.

Around the world, there is growing recognition that existing public resources are not sufficient to the task at hand, and that it is imperative to tap into the skills, know-how and resources of the private sector. UNAIDS, WHO, Stop TB and other important international organizations have been increasing the volume and frequency of their calls for the private sector to take a more active role.

"The prospects for winning the fight against global epidemics are stronger now than ever before, and these nine companies have shown the world what is possible for business to achieve," said GBC President and CEO Richard Holbrooke. "Business action is making a critical difference. 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's recognition is designed to both celebrate the biggest successes and to attract more companies to put their talents, know-how and resources to work as part of a well-coordinated global campaign. The awards will be presented at a celebration in New York City on June 9, which coincides with the United Nations 2008 High-Level Meeting on AIDS, slated for June 10th-11th.

Honored guest UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will join GBC for this year's event, as well as Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS; President Jorge Sampaio, UN Special Envoy for Tuberculosis; Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Malaria; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and many others. Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari will be performing.

The HIV/AIDS winners include Viacom (leadership); Standard Bank (workplace); Telkom, (testing and counseling); Intesa Sanpaolo (community philanthropy); BBC World Service Trust (core competence); Xstrata Coal South Africa (community initiative); Johnson & Johnson (women & girls). BD receives the tuberculosis award and Exxon Mobil Corporation receives the malaria award.

"Business has heard the urgent call for help from our partners around the world, and is actively working to scale up the fight against these diseases," said Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman of the GBC Board of Directors. "We've reached a golden window of opportunity to broaden and deepen business' mobilization. The programs implemented by these nine companies, for example, have provided care and treatment for hundreds of thousands of employees, and reached millions more consumers with critical prevention and awareness messages, ending stigma and preventing new infections. The actions of each business is part of an expanding, cohesive business movement reaching individuals at their place of work, or when they listen to the radio, or when they utilize public health facilities. The challenge before us is to reach the next level, where these efforts are strategically linked to compound their impact many times over."

2008 GBC Awards for Business Excellence Winners

Viacom - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Leadership

A leader in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic for over twenty-five years, Viacom and its divisions - BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures - have made HIV/AIDS prevention and education a company-wide priority around the world. Leveraging the extensive reach of its media platforms and audience relationships, Viacom has found innovative ways to communicate critical health messages to those who need them most. A founder of the Global Media AIDS Initiative, Viacom leverages its popular brands in strategic partnerships with both public and private sector partners, achieving remarkable impact.

Exxon Mobil Corporation - GBC Award for Business Excellence on Malaria

Since launching its Africa Health Initiative in 2000, ExxonMobil has committed more than $45 million for programs focusing on malaria research, community disease control and community advocacy. In doing so, it sought to stimulate business engagement on malaria, and to advocate for increased and more effective global funding. Since that time, annual global funding for malaria control has increased from $50 million in 2000 to more than $1 billion in 2007, and private sector mobilization has resulted in improved commodity supply chain management, scaled-up intervention, standardized monitoring and evaluation and the development of innovative financing mechanisms for anti-malarial medicines.

Xstrata Coal South Africa - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Expanded Community Initiatives

Xstrata's comprehensive community program combats HIV/AIDS, TB other opportunistic infections in Mpumalanga province, which has the second highest HIV infection rate in South Africa. Xstrata Coal is working through an innovative partnership model with Re-Action to help stabilize the health and welfare of the company's employees, their families and communities. This program is located in the 'Coal Powerbelt' of South Africa, where one in four people is living with HIV. Xstrata's community program seeks to extend the reach and effectiveness of its successful workplace HIV and TB program through which over 90% of employees have tested for HIV. Through this public-private partnership, Xstrata and Re-Action work with government and private health service providers in local health districts to expand access to basic HIV and TB health services. Xstrata's contributions are matched by funding from the U.S. President's Plan Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Johnson & Johnson - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Women and Girls

In 2005, Johnson & Johnson formed a partnership with the mothers2mothers (m2m) program in South Africa to provide comprehensive services for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. Operating in three communities adjacent to J&J commercial and manufacturing facilities, the partnership provided services to more than 7,400 pregnant women in South Africa, with more than 77% consenting to testing and more than 1,000 women living with HIV receiving psychosocial support and care throughout pregnancy, to successfully participate in PMTCT services.

Standard Bank Group - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Workplace

Standard Bank's workplace policy ensures that its 39,800 African employees and their immediate families - a total of 160,000 people - are encouraged to know their status. The program also seeks to reduce stigma and ignorance around health in general and HIV/AIDS in particular, and to make certain that people living with HIV/AIDS have access to proper treatment and monitoring. Standard Bank's research indicates that it saves as much as $100,000 each year by keeping senior staff and management healthy, thereby avoiding high turnover.

BBC World Service Trust - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Core Competence

The BBC World Service Trust partnered with the Government of India's National AIDS Control Organization and state broadcaster, Doordarshan, to produce a mass media HIV/AIDS campaign that has already reached more than 250 million people with messaging that increases knowledge, decreases stigma and encourages behavior change. Among those who have seen the BBC's programming - including Jasoos Vijay, the adventures of a detective living with HIV that was one of the 20 most viewed programs in the country - 85% said they learned something new and 6.7 million people said they took action as a result.

Telkom S.A. Limited - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Testing and Counseling

Telkom combats HIV/AIDS among its 35,000 employees and their families - more than 70% of whom live in regions with HIV prevalence rates higher than 30% - through the Thuso HIV/AIDS Workplace Program, which provides education, awareness, testing, and treatment. The VCT program rotates regularly, reaching each of the company's 1,674 sites, yards and buildings every 12-15 months. As a result, 65% of spouses and their partners have taken an HIV test and know his/her status.

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) - GBC Award for Business Excellence on Tuberculosis

BD's partnership with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) is a landmark initiative leading the effort to improve access to diagnostics for tuberculosis in the developing world, while simultaneously raising awareness about the importance of diagnostics in stemming the TB epidemic. Through demonstration projects in 8 countries, BD established the effectiveness of advanced liquid culture technology in improving the speed and accuracy of TB diagnosis, which in turn helps reduce the spread and mortality rate of TB. As a result, for the first time ever the WHO has recommended liquid culture diagnostics as an effective tool in the fight against TB. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of co-infected TB/HIV patients will thus gain access to sophisticated TB testing that will have a direct impact on their diagnosis and treatment.

Intesa Sanpaolo - GBC Award for Business Excellence on HIV/AIDS: Community Philanthropy

In partnership with the local government and several NGOs, Intesa Sanpaolo designed and implemented Project Malawi-a multifaceted intervention aiming to break the poverty cycle by addressing health care, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, assistance to orphans, HIV prevention and local development and microfinance. Intesa Sanpaolo and the Cariplo Foundation contributed €9 million over the first three years, establishing three labs for molecular biology and ten Drug Resources Enhancement against AIDS and Malnutrition (DREAM) health centers which saw nearly 9,000 patients and prevented 676 newborn babies from contracting HIV from their mothers. In addition, 4,406 patients began HAART, including 492 children.

In addition, GBC commends the following companies for their outstanding work:

Commended Workplace HIV/AIDS:

East African Breweries Limited

Commended Testing & Counseling HIV/AIDS:

Dunavant Zambia Ltd.

Commended Community Philanthropy HIV/AIDS:

Total E&P Angola
Cisneros Group of Companies
Thanda Private Game Reserve

Commended Expanded Community Initiatives HIV/AIDS:

Mercedes-Benz SA
Rio Tinto
Debswana Diamond Company

Commended Core Competence:

Pfizer Inc
Nike, Inc. SA
BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)

Commended Women & Girls:

Levi Strauss & Co.
Sandvik Mining and Construction Zambia Limited

Commended Tuberculosis:

Total Myanmar

Commended Malaria:


About GBC

The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC) is a coalition of more than 220 companies united to keep the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria a global priority. The Coalition's members share learnings from the front lines of the fight, and GBC provides tailored support so that companies can take an active role in defeating the pandemics. GBC also organizes collective actions among companies, and links the public and private sectors in ways that pool talents and resources. The official focal point of the private sector delegation to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, GBC maintains offices in New York, Paris, Johannesburg, Beijing, Geneva, Nairobi, Moscow, and Kyiv.

For more information about business action against global epidemics, visit:

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GBCHealth is a network of more than 300 companies and development organizations leading business action for improved global health. Sine 2001, GBCHealth has worked with hundreds of companies—individually and in partnership—to tackle the challenges of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health issues.

Through work that includes developing comprehensive workplace policies, supporting community programs, leveraging core competencies, facilitating advocacy by business leaders and brokering public-private partnerships, GBCHealth helps companies achieve their global health goals. GBCHealth also manages the Private Sector Delegation to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and is secretariat for the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa.

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