The Life Initiative – Hotels addressing AIDS
23 July 2008
The International AIDS conference (AIDS 2008) will bring to Mexico approximately 20,000 delegates and 2000 journalists from all over the world from 3-8 August 2008. AIDS 2008 presents a unique opportunity to engage the local hotel industry on issues related to HIV.
UNAIDS and the Mexican hotel industry are launching an HIV prevention campaign entitled “The Life Initiative – Hotels addressing AIDS”. Aimed at hotel guests and staff the initiative will raise awareness about HIV prevention and non-discrimination of people living with HIV. The initiative will also promote the development of sustainable long- term HIV workplace policies and programmes in the hotels. The hotel industry is a key player in the response to AIDS as it can reach a wide and diverse audience with HIV prevention information including its large workforce.
The prevention campaign will include the display of AIDS related leaflets, posters and brochures, art exhibitions, distribution of free male and female condoms, and showing of AIDS related films in all participating hotels. Condoms will be distributed at all participating hotels via the “condom project” which has been financed with the support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Sustainable long term HIV workplace policies and programs in hotels
One of UNAIDS’ partners in this initiative, IMPULSO - a network of NGOs experts on the provision of technical assistance on HIV in the workplace – will provide capacity building trainings which include situational analysis, stigma and discrimination program and HIV policy and program development. IMPULSO’s specific workshops in hotels also include training in the use and implementation of a software called Workplace Policy Builder designed to assist companies in developing their own AIDS policies.
More than 5,100 hotel employees have already been trained, covering 7,738 rooms in hotels in Mexico City. They received education information on HIV prevention, an overview of the epidemic in Mexico, and were sensitized on issues related to stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
“In Mexico, we note that nearly 200,000 people are living with HIV and around 5,000 people died in 2006 from diseases related to AIDS. The XVII International AIDS Conference presents a unique opportunity to involve the local hotel industry on issues related to HIV,” said UNAIDS Director of Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Cesar Nuñez.
All partners will announce the launch of the initiative around a press event on 06 August 2008 at 09:00- the International AIDS Society’s press center. For further information please contact UNAIDS Chief of Private Sector Partnerships, Regina Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hotels participating in the “Life Initiative- Hotels addressing AIDS”
For this initiative, the official AIDS 2008 international & national hotel chains have been targeted. The 5 national hotel chains are: Grupo Posadas, Hoteles Misión, Grupo Empresarial Ángeles, Grupo Del Ángel and Grupo Hoteles Emporio. The 8 international hotel chains are: Best Western International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Ramada International, Group ACCOR and Four Seasons Hotels.
So far the following hotels have joined the initiative:
NOVOTEL STA FE
HOTEL GRAN MELIÁ
HOTEL RADISSON FLAMINGOS
HOTEL FIESTA AMERICANA REFORMA
HOTEL HOLIDAY INN REFORMA
FIESTA INN CENTRO HISTORICO
HOTEL HOLIDAY INN ZONA ROSA
HOTEL FIESTA AMERICANA GRAND
HOTEL EMBASSY SUITE
GRAN HOTEL DE LA CIUDAD DE MEXICO
HOTEL CENTURY ZONA ROSA
HOTEL CAMINO REAL
HOTEL SHERATON CENTRO HISTORICO MEXICO