In Ho Chi Minh City, 16 local enterprises selected out of 118 firms from all over Vietnam were awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and USAID for their efforts to combat the economic implications and negative effects surrounding HIV/AIDS.
"The enterprises we honor here today represent an impressive range of services and industries," said USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Francis Donovan. "By recognizing these firms, we draw attention to businesses which are making major contributions to the development of society and addressing humanitarian issues while they simultaneously contribute to a country's economic growth and improve their bottom lines."
Many enterprises suffer from absenteeism, high turnover, lower productivity, and negative effects on markets, investment, services, and education in the business environment in which they operate.
The recognized enterprises committed funds and staff time to implement HIV/AIDS workplace prevention policies, create HIV/AIDS steering committees, organize HIV/AIDS-awareness activities among employees, and provide free condoms. They also implemented non-discriminatory policies regarding HV/AIDS, recruited people living with HIV, and committed funds for people living with HIV in starting and expanding income-generating activities.
The enterprises — in partnership with the USAID Workplace-Based HIV/AIDS Prevention project — continue to support people living with HIV through funding and organized programs. As of November 2011, more than 67,000 people had been trained on HIV prevention, and 118 enterprises collectively contributed more than $764,000 to cover the cost of implementing preventative and support programs.