Business Fights AIDS

Ben Plumley

Twenty years ago, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and I (Ben Plumley) — a then a young United Nations official — joined forces to persuade companies around the world to step up and respond to the global AIDS epidemic.The Business Fights AIDS Podcast tells that story through the diaries I wrote at the time. It's an uncharacteristically unfiltered behind-the-scenes look at how we cajoled, brow-beat, and charmed companies from all sorts of industrial sectors—mining, soft drinks, media, and pharmaceuticals—to provide HIV treatment and prevention in the workplace and fight stigma and discrimination. And maybe there are some lessons learned for 2022, as we enter the third year of the global COVID-19 pandemic.Hope you enjoy the podcast, are informed and maybe even chuckle a bit.

Business Fights AIDS Ep01: September 2001
Business Fights AIDS Ep01: September 2001
In September 2001, Ben Plumley joined Ambassador Richard Holbrooke on an unlikely adventure to marshal an extraordinary movement of businesses to fight AIDS, the 21st century’s first global pandemic.  Reading from his 2001 diaries, Ben tells the often-forgotten story of the founding of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS.  By treating its HIV positive employees and dependents, and marketing innovative HIV prevention messages, could the business community buy governments and UN just enough time to create the multi-billion-dollar programs that could give us a chance to beat AIDS in our lifetimes?   This episode covers the events at a special UN General Assembly Session devoted to AIDS, leading up to his first day on the job of Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV & AIDS was September the 11th 2001. A terrible, horrific co-incidence – with profound consequences for global security, including pandemics preparation. In 2002, the world was just beginning to realize the extent of global threat posed by the AIDS epidemic. Could the lessons from twenty years ago, help us in 2022, two years into the global COVID pandemic?   Brought to you by the team behind A Shot In The Arm Podcast and the Vax Up Podcast. Written and narrated by Ben Plumley. Directed by Erik Espera, of News Doc Media. Digital Production by Troy Espera.  Produced in association with Latobyve Resources. The Business Fights AIDS Podcast is a project of the Ikana Health Action Lab.