With the aim to assist the country to mount and support an expanded response – one that engages the effort of many sectors and partners, including the private sector to the HIV epidemic, NACC has over the last decade considered Private sector alliances as pivotal areas that can provide support, directly and indirectly, to Kenya’s HIV response. The NACC alliances with the numerous private sector players have continued to take many forms: programmatic partnerships, advocacy, fundraising support, or contributions-in-kind.
With the understanding that in Kenya are adults in their most productive years and that the country’s labour force has already lost thousands of people to AIDS, a number that could grow, without a much stronger response from all sectors of society, as a result the private businesses in the country have also become engaged in the process of fighting the epidemic becoming reliable partners in confronting the HIV epidemic.
The NACC and business organizations alike both at the macro and micro levels, have over the years witnessed at various magnitudes within some business settings, HIV direct toll on markets, investment, services and education through such as decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, staff turnover, Loss of skills, declining morale, increased costs, including training and recruiting, rising costs of insurance and sick leave as well as supply chain disruptions due to the HIV epidemic.
As a result business organizations have joined hands to in partnership that remains memorable to many players within this sector such as the Private Sector CEOs HIV Public Testing Campaigns that have been an integral part towards mobilising Kenyans for HIV testing as a gateway to HIV and AIDS services offered at the levels of prevention, treatment, care and support.
Although such activity was part of the 2007 and 2008 National HIV and AIDS activities leading up to the World Aids Day, the goal of the CEO public testing campaign has over the years been seen as strategic to leverage the power and influence private sector Kenyan business leaders have in the Kenyan society, to encourage everybody to know their HIV status.
The NACC- Private Sector partnership has over the years helped to build a formidable coalitions that facilitate the development of private sector workplace policies, initiate dialogue between the public and private sectors, and promote public-private initiatives to respond to the epidemic. Within the last decade, NACC has formed The Private Sector Sub-Committee (PSSC) and mandated with the coordination of the Private Sector with the collaboration of NACC through its National HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) Campaign planning Technical Committee. For instance in the year 2008 the PSSC comprised of the following partners the Global Business Coalition on HIV, TB and Malaria (GBC); Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE); Kenya Private Sector HIV/AIDS Business Council (KHBC); Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), National Organization of Peer Educators (NOPE); Swedish Workplace HIV/AIDS Programme (SWHAP), International Labour Organization (ILO) and Liverpool VCT (LVCT).
The CEO testing day is one of the initiatives that demonstrate this working coalition of partnership as it brought on board the Global Business Coalition on HIV, TB and Malaria (GBC); Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE); Kenya Private Sector HIV/AIDS Business Council (KHBC); Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCC) in partnership with Liverpool VCT and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and other governmental partners.
The years of partnership has also seen the subsequent establishment of the Workplace Counselling and Testing (CT) where at its launch, aimed for a National target of 100,000 employees to be tested during the Workplace CT exercise across Kenya; and to engage 100 companies providing HIV testing services for their staff during the period.