Standard Chartered calls for individual action on World AIDS Day
01 December 2011, Freetown: In celebration of World AIDS Day, representatives from Standard Chartered will remind individuals about the importance of prevention in fighting the pandemic as well as the need to challenge the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. The Bank in Sierra Leone has donated Sixty Million Leones (Le60, 000,000) to the National AIDS Secretariat in support of the national World AIDS Celebration. The HIV Champions of the Bank will also join other members of the Business Coalition Against AIDS in Sierra Leone, in the national match- past; on the theme ‘ Getting to Zero New infections by 2015’.
Standard Chartered is one of the few financial institutions to proactively champion the importance of education in the work place to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. In 1999, Standard Chartered launched Living with HIV, a work education programme, to respond to the detrimental impact HIV/AIDS was having on its employees inAfrica. Living with HIV provides employees with the facts and tools to make safe lifestyle choices and avoid becoming infected or infecting others as well as removing the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. The Bank was one of the first companies to take such an approach. The programme has, since, been rolled out to its offices globally and inSierra Leone.
As part of the Bank’s employee policies, non-discriminatory/non-disclosure clauses protect any employee who may be affected by HIV and AIDS. The Bank also provides financial support to employees to help cover the cost of necessary anti-retroviral drugs when they are not freely available in their home country.
Last year Standard Chartered delivered on a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to educate 1 million people on HIV/AIDs, reaching 1.6 million by the end of the year. As part of its promise, the Bank shared its Living with HIV programme with more than 70 partners in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As part of this initiative, Bank employees offered face-to-face workshops to participating organisations and local communities.
Albert Saltson, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leonesays: “According to UNAIDS, the number of new HIV infections continues to outstrip the advances in treatment numbers. For every two people put on antiretroviral drugs, another five become newly infected. Education is, therefore, key to preventing the spread of HIV.”
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