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World Bank and business groups launch guidelines

The World Bank and the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA) launched Guidelines for Building Better Coalitions Against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday.

Participants from 15 countries representing business coalitions and national AIDS councils met for a week-long conference to map ways the private sector could unite to fight the epidemic.

They plan to establish a regional network with products and services that will serve the interests of business and governments in mounting an effective and sustainable response to HIV/AIDS.

In a recent survey, about 41 percent of African firms reported serious current impacts on their business from HIV/AIDS and the majority noted negative effects on operating costs, a World Bank statement said.

Brad Mears, chief executive officer of SABCOHA, said the guidelines were the outcome of a long process and aimed at providing the private sector with practical and relevant direction on combining forces to fight the epidemic.

According to Elizabeth Ashbourne of the World Bank: "Coalitions assist companies by facilitating information sharing; permitting economies of scale in the development of workplace HIV/AIDS products and services; and create a strong, unified front for public policy debate and advocacy."

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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