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GBC Honors Levi Strauss & Co. for More Than 25 Years of Leadership in HIV/AIDS Pandemic

GBC Honors Levi Strauss & Co. for More Than 25 Years of Leadership in HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Published 06-24-09

Submitted by Levi Strauss & Co.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - June 24, 2009 - The Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC) today will award Levi Strauss & Co. its Richard Holbrooke Leadership Award for the company's longtime leadership in the fight against the HIV/AIDS global pandemic. The award will be presented at the GBC Business Excellence Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

Robert Hanson, president of Levi Strauss Americas, who will accept the award on behalf of the company, said, "We are incredibly honored to receive this tribute to our long history on HIV/AIDS prevention, but we're also focused on what we can accomplish today in partnership with the GBC and other business leaders. Our policies, programs and prevention campaigns have been bold, honest - and sometimes raised a few eyebrows - but all to help us move the needle to fight against this deadly disease."

Hanson continued, "We feel the responsibility to lead and that's why we have put the power of our iconic brand behind a comprehensive employee treatment and care program, invested more than $40 million to support groundbreaking community partnerships, and established cutting-edge consumer education for HIV/AIDS in our retail stores."

"These awards are given to an elite group of companies that set the standard for excellence in business action to defeat disease," said GBC President and CEO John Tedstrom. "They show what a business can do, and how to do it exceedingly effectively. We need more businesses to take this kind of action. The fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria cannot be won without the corporate sector stepping up and playing an active role-and Levi Strauss & Co. is doing exactly the kind of thing that all companies can and should do. Levi Strauss & Co. doesn't just talk, they take action. And their action saves lives."

Levi Strauss & Co. has been actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the pandemic. As early as 1982, the company's employees and executives started a grassroots educational effort that would quickly evolve into the first major corporate HIV/AIDS prevention initiative.

Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation have played a leadership role in the private sector response to the disease by developing workplace policies, practices and communication that have become the standard for businesses, nonprofits and governments in dealing with HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

Today, Levi Strauss & Co. takes a comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS that focuses on:

  • A global Employee HIV/AIDS Program. Employees and their dependents receive reimbursement for HIV/AIDS testing, treatment, and care services in locations where benefits are not already covered by existing company health plans or adequately provided by public health care systems. All employees worldwide receive HIV/AIDS prevention education and a directory of HIV/AIDS Services for their local country.

  • Support for community organizations addressing HIV/AIDS with a focus on stigma and discrimination. In 1983, the Levi Strauss Foundation became the first U.S. corporate foundation to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since then, the company and foundation have contributed more than $40 million in grants to HIV/AIDS service organizations in more than 40 countries with a focus eradicating the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and those who are most vulnerable to infection.

  • HIV/AIDS prevention education with our consumers. Levi Strauss South Africa launched Red for Life, a highly successful campaign for voluntary HIV testing that targeted young people to encourage them to take action to fight HIV/AIDS. The partnership raised significant funds for South Africa's leading AIDS services and advocacy organization. For more than a decade, Levi Strauss & Co. has also been commemorating World Aids Day by engaging employees and consumers.

  • Engaged leadership in promoting effective global public policy. This year, Levi Strauss & Co. represented U.S. business at part of a U.S. delegation to the International Labor Conference to negotiate a new ILO recommendation to address HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation played significant roles in the International AIDS Conferences in Toronto in 2006 and Mexico City in 2008, presenting key workplace results, insurance discrimination findings and supporting dialogue on human rights.
For more information about Levi Strauss & Co.'s 27-year history as a pioneer in the fight against HIV/AIDS, go to

About Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's(R), Dockers(R) San Francisco and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.(TM) brands. Levi Strauss & Co. reported fiscal 2008 net revenues of $4.4 billion. For more information, go to

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