Skip to main content

In the course of translating Standard Chartered's HIV education materials, several members of our team realised that their understanding of the key issues had in fact been less clear than they had originally thought. We have partnered with Standard Chartered to provide all of our people with the opportunity to fill this potential knowledge gap. We see awareness of prevention of HIV and AIDS and its social stigma as a vitally important human responsibility, and we are proud to be a part of this admirable programme.' Henry Clough Managing Director
Asian Absolute, July 2009

Living with HIV

Background - Why we are involved

HIV and AIDS remains one of the greatest challenges to global health, affecting more than 33 million people worldwide, yet there is still no cure or vaccine. Every single person who is affected needs life-saving drugs to control their condition and, once started, these must continue uninterrupted for life. While advances in anti-retroviral therapy are obviously welcome, they extend the lives of sufferers, which means they need treatment for longer - which brings additional costs. Adherence to treatment is, as a result, one of the most challenging elements of the disease. For every two people treated, a further five people become newly infected1.

1
All statistics quoted from UNAIDS 2009 AIDS epidemic update.

Living with HIV - why education is important

Education is key to tackling the spread of HIV by providing people with the facts to make safe lifestyle choices, both to avoid getting infected in the first place, or to avoid passing it on if they are already HIV positive.

We have run a workplace HIV education programme, called Living with HIV, since 1999. The programme has been specially developed to provide a minimum standard of HIV education but is flexible enough to be adapted to suit specific needs of local audiences.

In June Living with HIV received the Business Excellence Award for Best Community Investment Programme from the Global Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a group of 220 international businesses united to keep the fight against these epidemics a global priority. The coalition's President and Chief Executive, John Tedstom, said: 'The fight against HIV/AIDS cannot be won without the corporate sector stepping up and playing an active role-and Standard Chartered is doing exactly the kind of thing that all companies can and should do. They don't just talk, they take action. And their action saves lives.'

HIV education is part of our global non-disclosure policy on HIV and AIDS, which includes free access to HIV testing and treatment for staff and their dependents. The full policy can be viewed here.

Our staff - how they get involved

Our staff volunteers, known as HIV Champions, deliver face-to-face workshops designed to provide the knowledge for people to protect themselves and their loved ones.

We have more than 1,150 HIV Champions in 50 countries, and they have all been retrained over the past two years, including Train the Trainer refresher courses across Africa and South Asia this year. Working with local communities, our HIV Champions delivered face to face education sessions to 630,000 people in 2008 and 2009.

Saying it differently - speaking to people in their own language

In association with AIESEC, one of the world's largest student organisations, we surveyed more than 1,200 under 25 year olds to find out their views on HIV and AIDS. Half of those surveyed admitted that they did not know enough about HIV, and 80 per cent said the Internet is their first resource to research issues relating to sexual health. This discovery prompted us to develop www.vir.us, an external website aimed at educating the web-savvy youth market, to complement our face to face workshops. It is vital that we educate the younger generation because 40 per cent of all new HIV infections are in the 15-24 year-old age bracket, so www.vir.us includes animated 'edutainment' modules that pass on important facts in a fun and interesting way. In November, www.vir.us won the Leonard Cheshire Disability's Ability Media Award in the News and Information category, which identifies outstanding creative projects that encourage a more inclusive world for disabled and marginalised groups of people.

We updated our online eLearning module and translated all our HIV education tools into a variety of languages to make it easier to share them with local communities. The translations include Arabic, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Working with the community

We share our HIV education tools with other organisations free of charge, and have made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to educate one million people on HIV and AIDS by March 2010. Our HIV Champions work with more than 50 partner organisations, training their own peer educators and tailoring the HIV education tools to be more relevant and engaging for their workforces. Our partner organisations include Virgin, Tullow Oil, the global healthcare solutions company BroadReach Healthcare Crown Worldwide, translation agency Asian Absolute, Orlean Invest in West Africa, Thailand's Amata Industrial Estates, China Southern Airline, Singapore's Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Nigeria's Youth Empowerment Foundation. They represent our customers, clients, suppliers and non-governmental organisations. We also work with country business coalitions.

We use a similar approach in local communities, to enable us to reach people who may be especially vulnerable to HIV but not part of a workplace structure.

Working with our partners allow us to extend the reach of Living with HIV beyond what we could achieve working in isolation, ensuring that it becomes a sustainable global initiative.

Highlights

  • Through partnerships, more than one million people will be educated on HIV and AIDS
  • 630,000 people have already attended face to face HIV education workshops, including 400,000 in 2009
  • Minimum global standard of HIV and AIDS education, easily adapted to suit different audiences and cultural sensitivities
  • More than 1,000 HIV Champions who promote awareness around HIV and AIDS, particularly in communities where infection is especially prevalent
  • Three types of HIV education available - face to face, eLearning and webLearning, available in more than 10 different languages
  • www.vir.us developed to target web-savvy youth audience who account for 40 per cent of all new HIV infections. 'Myths, orthodoxy and a reluctance to learn the basic facts about the virus are some of the biggest hurdles our HIV trainers face on a daily basis', explained Alexa Mabonga, Global External Relations Manager at our partner AIESEC International, in August
Living with HIV

Case Study: Thailand

Our 50 HIV Champions in Thailand worked hard this year as part of the Living with HIV programme, contributing to the education of 18,000 people in face to face sessions...

Find out more

Report tools

Annual Report and Accounts 2009