Chevron and HIV/AIDS: A Legacy of Resilience
posted on 06/23/2020 2:00 PM
AIDS 2020’s theme of resilience is more poignant than ever as we all seek to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing global health landscape and to persevere in the face of uncertainty. The conference call to action for resilience ‘to lead advocacy and program implementation until new infections are stopped and everyone has access to prevention, treatment and the social support they need’ is closely tied to Chevron’s approach of continually investing in our workforce and communities to improve health.
35 years of advocacy and support
The Bay Area is more than just home to our corporate headquarters. Four decades ago, Chevron and other companies began to see the effect AIDS was having on their employees and beloved community. In 1986, we joined 13 other Bay Area companies to promote HIV/AIDS education in the workplace.
A few years later, Chevon began noticing that some of our largest operations were in areas where the grip of AIDS was growing rapidly, such as Angola, Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand. We began developing our own workplace education and support programs, and we launched partnerships around the globe to help educate communities, prevent new infections and improve access to care and support.
In 2005, Chevron was the first oil and gas company to institute a global comprehensive HIV/AIDS Policy and Program for employees, including confidential access to HIV testing and treatment for employees and their dependents. In 2018, we began taking steps to ensure that our employees and qualified dependents have appropriate access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment, which been proven to make a difference in communities where HIV/AIDS has taken a terrible toll. These and other health programs are championed though our global Peer Health Education (PHE) program, where more than 440 employee volunteers from across our organization influence and role-model good health behaviors among their peers.
Our employees across the globe participate in local AIDS walks, volunteer year-round for HIV-AIDS programs in collaboration with our health partners and have banded together every year since 2005 to create quilts to commemorate World AIDS Day. Chevron has been involved with the International AIDS Conference since 2006 and has been a sponsor of the conference since 2011.
In this together
We bring global experience, leadership and financial resources to assist in addressing the health risks having the greatest potential impact on our colleagues, their families and the communities where we operate. Our health efforts aim to strengthen health systems; improve health equity and security; and empower sustainable interventions for preventing disease in our workforce and communities.
And we do not address these issues alone. In these unprecedented times, the power of our partnerships to be resilient, and in turn to support the resilience of our communities, has never been more important. Together, we leverage data to inform, educate and advocate for improvements in health. Together, we combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, Zika, dengue fever, influenza, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in risk-prone locations. And together, we look for ways to innovate and continually improve.
One example is our long-standing support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and their work in Africa and the Pacific Rim. Since 2008, we have contributed over $60 million, contributing to their success in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, reducing new HIV infections and improving the quality of life for the infected and affected by the disease.
In 2018, Chevron announced a $1 million grant to Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to expand its advocacy and education work to grow U.S. support for the Global Fund’s lifesaving work and directed $2.5 million of recent funding to the implementation of the Chevron-Global Fund Anti-Retroviral Treatment Service Maintenance Program in Nigeria.
In the Bay Area, Chevron funds mobile HIV testing units in collaboration with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) and Oakland-based California Prevention Education Project (CAL-PEP). These vehicles travel around the community testing people that may be homeless, without insurance or who may be unable to see a doctor. Our funds and partnership enable testing, counseling and treatment, all in a comfortable space with understanding professionals. And Chevron’s recent contributions helped CAL-PEP add a new hygiene vehicle to their service provision, supporting the group’s One Stop Health Mobile Services program and community outreach strategy. The unit includes showers, toilets and hygiene amenities.
As we strive to combat the global pandemic facing us today, there is still a vital need to increase awareness, fight stigma and improve education around HIV and AIDS. We have made tremendous strides over the last 35 years, but we need to stay strong, work together and continue the fight until we get to zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero HIV-AIDS stigma.
COVID-19 Reflections on Resilience
Huma Abbasi, Chevron’s general manager for Enterprise Health, said, “I see resilience as a sustained commitment and collaborative approach for enabling global health security, equality and justice. The world is changing due to COVID-19, and it will forever affect our health systems and their fragility. The need for public-private partnerships is greater than ever and we must work together to address the continued disproportionate impacts on certain populations and communities.”
Abbasi will participate in this year’s conference as a panelist for the Global Fund satellite session, “HIV, COVID-19 and Global Health at an Inflection Point: Going Forward in Partnership,” and as a guest on the “A Shot in the Arm Podcast” satellite session with Ben Plumley.