World AIDS Day — held on December 1 every year since 1988 — marks an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with the disease, and commemorate those who have died.
At LS&Co., the day is also a chance to reflect upon the company’s history of progressive leadership in addressing HIV/AIDS in the workplace and around the world through education, policy change and human rights advocacy. In 1981, AIDS didn’t even have a name. In 1982, then-CEO Bob Haas and other top LS&Co. leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with concerned employees in San Francisco to distribute informational pamphlets.
Silence was not an option, according to Bob Haas, who today is recognized as this year’s National Leadership Recognition honoree for AIDS Memorial Grove’s World AIDS Day Observance for his leadership in the HIV/AIDS movement. Despite feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, LS&Co. employees and leaders joined together to fight ignorance, stigma, and discrimination.
The infographic below outlines how LS&Co. has both supported and enabled progress in the global response to HIV/AIDS. LS&Co. was a leader in providing corporate support in a variety of avenues — from donating to the world’s first AIDS clinic, to creating public-private partnerships with cities to encourage community members to know their HIV status.
Today, LS&Co. remains the longest continuous corporate supporter in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with over $70 million granted globally to date through the Levi Strauss Foundation. While an HIV/AIDS diagnosis is no longer synonymous with imminent death, there is still work to be done and our commitment to achieving and HIV-free generation is unwavering.
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