Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and the UNAIDS, the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, are launching an unique partnership to halt and reverse the HIV epidemic in India. The collaboration aims to establish a sustainable business model for social change to ensure equal access to HIV services for the poor around the country, in tune with the National AIDS Control Programme-III. The partnership will support India in its efforts to scale up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and achieving the UN’s Millenium Development Goals. The partnership will build on the healthcare agenda set by RIL chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani and UN Assistant Secretary General Michel Sidibe, said an RIL statement. “I am convinced that such a business model will enable countries to quicken the pace of action in scaling up programmes and meet the needs of hard-to reach populations,” said Sidibe about the partnership. The UNAIDS Secretariat will facilitate collaboration between RIL and UNAIDS’ co-sponsors, while the former will leverage its vast infrastructure to expand and strengthen its healthcare services across India. The specific focus would be on expanding healthcare outreach to rural populations, especially serving those living with HIV. It will also address existing gaps in the public health system and build the capacities of public and private healthcare providers in India. Reliance is already at the forefront of corporate response to HIV by spearheading a campaign to counter social stigma and discrimination against HIV affected persons. Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation president Nita Ambani, engaged in RIL’s social responsibility programmes, reiterated that a major focus of Reliance’s sustainability initiatives is to make quality healthcare accessible to more people. The company’s community care centre at Hazira under the leadership of its utive director HS Kohli, provides free treatment to hundreds of people living with HIV, making it one of the largest Anti-Retroviral Treatment centers in India. The partnership will pursue the ultimate aim of reversing the trends of the HIV epidemic, the statement said.