Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA) is a non-profit organization established in 1993. It was the first business coalition of its kind in the world, which enabled companies to work together, and with the public sector, to reduce the risk of HIV and AIDS to their business and to the wider community.
Over the last 15 years TBCA has developed to become the leading provider of HIV and AIDS prevention and management services to Thailand’s private sector. Currently, TBCA’s activities are focused in the following areas:
Certified Quality Management System: TBCA provides a national quality certification program on HIV and AIDS Prevention and management in the workplace that is endorsed by the Ministries of Labour (MOL), Public Health (MOPH) and recognized by the International Labour Organization. This is the AIDS - response Standard Organization (ASO) Program.
Training: TBCA offers six educational curricula on HIV and AIDS that target management and employees that are globally recognized.
Community Program: TBCA’s community program is an extension of the company policy development and employee education programs. Currently the program provides services such as home visits, group support activities in hospitals and skills development to 1,300 families in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
- To reduce the risk of HIV and AIDS on Thailand’s business sector by facilitating HIV and AIDS prevention education and management in the workplace and wider community.
- Advocate, support and promote the private sector in activities which seek to reduce the spread of HIV.
Coordinate with related government and non-government organizations in support of activities to reduce the spread of HIV.
Key Performance Areas
- Ensuring that Thailand’s private sector is a key part of an integrated, effective national response to HIV and AIDS through representation of business interests to government and other stakeholders.
- Providing quality management systems, training and other services for HIV and AIDS prevention and management to Thailand’s private sector.
- Providing opportunities for business to demonstrate corporate social responsibility through community outreach programs focused on HIV and AIDS care, anti-discrimination and education.
Two foreign businessmen based in Thailand, William Black (General Manager, The Regent Bangkok) and Jim Reinnholdt (Regional General Manager of Northwest Airlines) working in Bangkok were invited to speak at a UNDP conference on AIDS in the workplace in South East Asia. Subsequent to their participation, they conducted a survey of companies in and around Bangkok in 1992 through the American Chamber of Commerce.
The results indicated that all companies were aware of the AIDS problem, while 85% of companies were very concerned. Almost all (90%) said they would purchase an AIDS manual if it were available, while over half (60%) expressed interest in employee training - but only 1% had actually implemented training. A majority, however, said they would not provide leadership on instituting an HIV and AIDS policy, but rather would refer it to their Human Resource Manager.
The companies were also asked: where would you go for assistance? Of the companies surveyed, 70% said they did not know where to turn for AIDS in the workplace assistance. The unmet need was clear. It was also clear that something concrete was required if genuine interest was to be transformed into positive action.
Discussions with Steven Kraus, then of World Health Organization, were pivotal in convincing them that businesses could and should be contributing to Thailand’s HIV and AIDS prevention efforts.
TBCA was founded in September, 1993 as a non-profit alliance serving business interests and addressing business concerns related to HIV and AIDS through linkages with businesses, non-government and government organizations. Mr Black came to realize, and has since spoken publicly on his belief that “it just makes good business sense for companies to be involved”.
A total of $U.S. 40,000 in seed funds was made available to TBCA by its co-founders. Start-up funds came from Mr. Black, who loaned TBCA 500,000 baht (then $US 20,000) and an anonymous donation in the same amount.
TBCA objectives at launch were:
A coalition of business leaders promoting HIV and AIDS initiatives through and beyond the AIDS epidemic
- To mobilize resources (monetary and skills) from the private sector for HIV and AIDS prevention, and;
- To promote the adoption of coherent non-discriminatory workplace policies and implementation of workplace education programs
The objectives and roles of the TBCA have been shaped by some of the problems and obstacles associated with HIV and AIDS prevention in Thailand.
Since 1993 TBCA has worked with more than 7,000 companies in Thailand to help them implement HIV and AIDS programs.