Sixteen enterprises in HCM City and the Mekong Delta were on Nov. 16 awarded certificates of appreciation for investing time and resources to promote HIV/AIDS prevention and support people living with HIV.

The recognition is accorded at a ceremony held on Nov. 16 in HCM City .

The firms are selected from more than 100 affiliated with the five-year 3 million-USD USAID HIV Workplace project that began implementation in 2008.

The project is funded by the US President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to prevent HIV infection among high-risk individuals and provide employment opportunities and economic rehabilitation services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The 16 firms initiated several activities including committing funds and staff to implement workplace prevention policies, organising HIV/AIDS awareness programmes among employees and providing free condoms.

They also implemented non-discriminatory policies regarding HIV/AIDS affected people and recruited people living with HIV.

"By recognising these firms, we draw attention to businesses which are making major contributions to the development of society and addressing humanitarian issues while they simultaneously contribute to their country's economic growth and improve their bottom lines," said Francis A. Donovan, mission director of USAID Vietnam.

Implemented by Chemonics International Inc, the project has expanded workplace-based HIV prevention activities at 118 enterprises.

More than 67,000 people have been trained in HIV prevention and participating enterprises have contributed more than 764,000 USD to cover the costs of implementing the project. /.