Q. What is UN Cares? While agency-specific programmes are phased
out, ongoing activities will now come under the
UN Cares is designed to reduce the impact of
UN Cares umbrella and system-wide
HIV on the UN workplace by supporting
“universal access” to a comprehensive range of
benefits for all UN personnel and their families. Q. How do UN Cares, the UN
These benefits – known as the UN Cares 10 Learning Strategy on HIV/AIDS, and
Minimum Standards – include information and UN Plus fit together?
education, voluntary counseling and testing, The three initiatives are complementary to each
access to male and female condoms, and other. UN Plus will continue to serve as the
emergency prevention measures in case of advocacy and support network for UN system
accidental exposure, among others. The personnel living with HIV (HIV positive staff).
Standards also call for increased measures to The Learning Strategy will continue to build
stop stigma and discrimination. staff knowledge to address HIV on a personal
Q. What will happen to my agency’s basis and in the UN workplace, and will also For more information,
HIV workplace activities? work to build UN system professional visit www.uncares.org
competence to address the epidemic with our
Since the UN Personnel Policy on HIV and or contact the
partner organizations. UN Cares provides the
AIDS was enacted in 1991, some agency-
system-wide implementation framework and UN Cares Global
specific programmes have been implemented.
overall coordination to deliver “universal access”
This includes Caring for Us, We Care, and Coordinator at
to essential information and services to all UN
Agents for Change, among others. Despite
personnel and their families. email@example.com.
successes, overlapping workplace programmes
were creating confusion among staff, and Q. How is UN Cares funded?
duplication of effort. More than 15 UN agencies have contributed to
Consistent with the UN reform agenda, the initial phase of UN Cares. The programme
UN Cares solves that problem by unifying HIV will need additional resources to fully realize its
workplace programmes across the UN system, mandate.
and “Delivering as One” a comprehensive HIV Q. Why are HIV and AIDS priorities
workplace programme. among all other health concerns?
UN Cares was proposed and continues to be led HIV is truly exceptional. In the 25 years since
by an inter-agency task force that designed the the first case was reported, AIDS has affected all
programme to build on the good work already regions of the world, including North America
being done, to ensure that UN Cares is as and Europe, and has become the leading cause of
effective and inclusive as possible for UN death of both men and women of working age in
personnel and families, and to make it a model Africa and Asia. It has resulted in the single
of how a workplace should respond to HIV that greatest reversal in the history of human
can be shared with the broader development development. May 2008
UN Cares: The UN system-wide workplace programme on HIV www.uncares.org
More than 90% of people living with HIV are placing information about HIV status in
adults of working age. As a result, the workplace personnel files. Breaches of confidentiality erode
is inevitably affected by the epidemic. In employee morale, can disrupt productivity and
addition, the workplace is an ideal setting for can lead to legal action.
prevention, treatment and care, as well as for Q. Will staff with HIV lose their
efforts to combat HIV-related stigma and insurance or their jobs?
No. HIV has no bearing on one’s job, contractual
HIV is affecting the well-being of personnel and arrangement or access to insurance. If you have
UN productivity. A 2007 study of the impact of insurance through the UN system, you will not
HIV and AIDS on the UN workplace found that lose it because of HIV.
HIV and AIDS would cost the UN nearly US$10
million a year in “replacement costs” Q. Are all UN staff and their family
(recruitment, induction, retraining), funeral costs members covered by UN Cares?
and death benefits as compared to doing nothing. UN Cares aims to be as inclusive as possible by
Q. How many UN staff are living providing all UN personnel and their families --
with HIV? regardless of contractual status -- access to the
information and services detailed in the
Conservative estimates by UNAIDS show that UN Cares 10 Minimum Standards. The one
1.5% of UN personnel worldwide may be living exception is insurance, where only staff members
with HIV One percent or more is considered
. and their legally-recognized dependents are
epidemic at the national level. eligible.
Q. I’m living in a low prevalence Q. Why do we have condoms in the
country. What do I need to know? workplace?
HIV knows no boundaries. It exists in every Used correctly, condoms are the single most
country around the globe. It affects rich people effective way to prevent transmission of HIV
and poor, educated people and those who have (and other sexually transmitted infections),
never been to school, men and women, young making their distribution an essential component
and old. We all need to know how HIV is of any workplace prevention programme. Unless
transmitted and how it is not, what to do if we condoms are readily, reliably and affordably
have possibly been exposed to the virus and what available in the surrounding community,
to do if we are living with HIV We all need to
. employees should have access at the workplace.
know how to talk to our partners and children The female condom is relatively new, but it has
about HIV Just as important, all UN staff have a
. found ready acceptance among many women
role to play in creating a workplace environment and their partners and provides women with
that is safe for colleagues who may be living additional options for disease prevention. Offices
with HIV Even if you live in a low prevalence
. that distribute condoms have found favorable
country, it is likely that you, your colleagues responses from employees, both men and
and/or family and friends have been touched by women. This is also consistent with the UN's
HIV in some way. role as a global leader in best practices for
Q. How will UN Cares help UN workplace programmes.
personnel ensure confidentiality? Q. What can I do to stop stigma and
As an umbrella programme, UN Cares can discrimination?
advise and share best practices on Lead by example. Do not tolerate discrimination
confidentiality. But it is ultimately up to staff, in workplace – stand up and speak out. Make
managers and human resource officers to know sure everyone in your office knows the facts
their rights and responsibilities. In brief, staff about HIV and AIDS. Put a “human face” on the
must not disclose information about the HIV issue by hosting a presentation by a member of
status of colleagues. In addition, there is no UN Plus or someone from your local community
justification for asking job applicants or living with or affected by HIV.
personnel to disclose medical information, nor
should personnel be obliged to reveal such
Sources: Impact Study of HIV and AIDS on the United
personal information about themselves. Access
Nations System, Final Report, Constella Futures
to personal data relating to HIV status is bound
International, October 31, 2007.
by the rules of confidentiality, including not