The turnout at this week’s seminar on “HIV/AIDS awareness at the workplace” far surpassed expectations. The Embassy of Denmark organised the two seminars held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where companies in the B2B Programme where trained in dealing with HIV/AIDS in a proper and interesting way.
The Danish Ambassador, Peter Lysholt Hansen, was able to welcome almost 120 participants from more than 40 companies at the seminars on “HIV/AIDS awareness at the workplace”. The B2B Programme had organized these two seminars as part of its focus on Corporate Social Responsibility. Companies who receive support from the B2B programme are obligated to ensure that their employees are well aware of the HIV/AIDS and help prevent the disease.
Most of the seminar was facilitated by the Danish expert in HIV/AIDS training, Lotte Brondum, who has great experience in this field from her work in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. First of all she taught the companies about the basic facts of HIV/AIDS and the present law on HIV/AIDS in Vietnam. Furthermore she showed the participants the many ways HIV/AIDS can be addressed at workplace level and the positive impact of such preventive actions.
As part of the programme, The Embassy had invited a woman currently living with the HIV virus to share her experience and knowledge of the disease. She told the participants the heartbreaking story of her getting rejected by her family and fired from her job while having to deal with the fact that she had been infected by HIV. This actual story made a big impression on all the participants and was a great starting point for further discussion.
The last part of the seminar was organised as a workshop where the participants were divided into several groups. Each group had to brainstorm for ideas and compose an action plan which could be used to address HIV/AIDS awareness in their companies. On the basis of this, Lotte Brondum showed the participants how to develop and implement a proper HIV/AIDS policy. Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen commented after the seminar: “This seminar has without a doubt had a great impact on the attending companies and I was very pleased to witness the high level of participation during the seminar”.