World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is December 1. This year’s theme is "Communities make the difference".

World AIDS Day is December 1. This year’s theme is "Communities make the difference".1 The workplace is an example of a community that can make a significant difference towards preventing and ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. UNAIDS has a global goal of eradicating HIV/AIDS by 2030,2 and similarly in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to reduce new HIV infections by 90% within 10 years.3 This is important to large employers since 90% of people affected by HIV/AIDS are adults in their most productive years.2

How can employers, inside and outside the U.S. assist in supporting employees who are currently living with HIV/AIDS as well as help prevent new cases?

Companies Can:

  • Develop an HIV communication strategy for your entire employee population and couple it with a more targeted approach to better reach those at risk. The intent is to “normalize” speaking about the disease, simplify communications and make patients, and/or those at risk, feel less isolated.
  • Provide prevention and transmission education materials, treatment services and voluntary counseling and testing for employees, and make them aware of any resources available.
  • Develop anti-discrimination HIV/AIDS policies to identify and protect employers and employees’ rights and responsibilities in the context of HIV/AIDS.
  • Provide prevention and transmission education materials, treatment services and voluntary counseling and testing for employees.
  • Negotiate with insurers to eliminate HIV/AIDS exclusions from benefits plans in locations where they currently exist.
  • Incorporate preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) communication campaigns into worksite well-being activities (where applicable).
  • Integrate anti-stigma messaging in all benefit communications.
  • Partner with health systems that have experience serving HIV/AIDS patients and have well-established programs to ensure proper prevention and medication adherence.
  • Ask your health plan to assess network coverage for facilities that are culturally competent in prescribing and monitoring the use of PrEP.
  • Partner with employer resource groups to ensure culturally sensitive communications to the LGBTQ community and other at-risk groups and consider them allies in your quest to increase awareness about prevention, testing and medication adherence.
  • Ensure that your existing resources such as care management and navigation teams are equipped with appropriate information on best sites of care for HIV/AIDS services and are able to integrate behavioral health support for these patients.

Additional Business Group Resources:

  • HIV/AIDS: Despite Progress, Much Work Remains
  • New ACA Preventive Service Coverage Requirement for HIV (PrEP) 
  • Negotiation Tips for Mainstreamed HIV/AIDS Coverage
  • Facilitators for Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS Coverage and Filling Chronic Condition Coverage Gaps
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Prevention 
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Transmission and Testing
  • Guide to Workplace HIV/AIDS Policy Development

  1. UNAIDS. World AIDS Day 2019. https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/WAD_2019.  Accessed October 30, 2019.
  2. A guide for business — Working together towards ending AIDS. Geneva: UNAIDS;2018.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ending the HIV epidemic: A plan for America. https://www.cdc.gov/endhiv/index.html.  Accessed October 30, 2019.