HIV/AIDS at worplace: protecting yourself - World AIDS Day 2012, ADB
HIV/AIDS at workplace:Protecting yourself (why? how?)Dr Jean-Jacques BERNATAS, ADB Medical CenterWorld AIDS Day01 December 2012
HIV/AIDS at workplace in 7 points• Discrimination and promotion of equality ofopportunity and treatment• Prevention• Treatment and care• Support• Testing, privacy and confidentiality• Occupational safety and health• Children and young persons
Discrimination and promotion of equality ofopportunity and treatment• As an employee:– protecting myself from misbehavior that coulddiscourage another employee to get support or accessto prevention or treatment• As an employer:– “zero discrimination” on real or perceived HIV status/recruitment, termination– to accommodate workload, workplace as much aspossible– to take measures in/through the workplace toprevent HIV transmission.
Prevention: protecting myself “stricto sensu”• As an employee:– Access to accurate, up-to-date relevant information– Access to education – women and men – to understand and reduce the risk ofHIV transmission– Promotion and access to VCT– Access to all means of prevention, as well as PeP– Measures to reduce high-risk behaviors, including MARP• As an employer:– Effective occupational safety and health measures– Offer access to information, education, means of prevention, VCT, access toPeP– Awareness on high-risk behaviours, including for the most at-risk groups– Awareness and promotion of harm reduction strategies Connection to public health authorities, civil society, and NGOsto get the most relevant and accurate support
Treatment and care: it is about protectingeveryone• As an employee:– Access to appropriate health services: VCT, ART, nutrition, HIV-related illnesses including opportunistic infections and STIs– Access to support and prevention programs for PLwH, includingpsychological support• As an employer:– To ensure workers living with HIV – and dependents – full accessto curative and preventive health care (public health services,national security systems, private insurances, …)– “Zero discrimination” based on real or perceived HIV status inaccess to health care and coverage of medical expenses,disability, and death and survivors’ benefits.
Supporting is protecting• As an employee:– Supporting in the workplace the coworkers infected oraffected by HIV/AIDS; No rules, but getting the rightinformation will help to get the right attitude …• As an employer:– Promotion of the retention in work and recruitment ofpersons living with HIV.– Extension of support through periods of employment andunemployment– HIV infection as an occupational disease or accident whenjustified.– Reasonable accommodation in the workplace for personsliving with HIV or HIV-related illnesses, with due regard tonational conditions
Testing, privacy and confidentiality• As an employee:– To have free access to VCT without any fear about job access,job security or opportunities for advancement• As an employer:– To offer a free and genuinely voluntary testing, respecting every worker’sconfidentiality– HIV testing or other forms of screening for HIV should not be required ofworkers– The results of HIV testing should be confidential and not endanger access tojobs, tenure, job security or opportunities for advancement.– Workers, including migrant workers, jobseekers and job applicants, should notbe required by countries of origin, of transit or of destination to disclose HIVrelated information about themselves or others.
Occupational safety and health• As an employee:– To have access to the appropriate information about mode oftransmission of HIV and its real risk in the workplace: HIV is nottransmitted by casual physical contact and that the presence of aperson living with HIV should not be considered a workplace hazard.• As an employer– To ensure a safe and healthy working environment in order to preventtransmission of HIV in the workplace:• universal precautions,• accident and hazard prevention measures,• environmental control measures and post exposure prophylaxis and othersafety measures to minimize the risk of contracting HIV and tuberculosis.– When there is a possibility of exposure to HIV at work, workers shouldreceive education and training on modes of transmission andmeasures to prevent exposure and infection
Children and young persons• Mainly an employer’s matter and everyemployee’s awareness:– To actively participate in the fight against child labourand child trafficking– To protect young workers against HIV infection, and toinclude the special needs of children and youngpersons in the response to HIV and AIDS in nationalpolicies and programs.
HIV/AIDS at workplace: a recentinternational standardThe first international labourstandard on HIV and AIDS in theworld of work, was adopted bygovernments, employers’ andworkers’ representatives fromILO member States at theInternational Labour Conferencein June 2010.
Preventing yourself in the workplace: “Yes wecan”, if everyone understands the change ofparadigm about HIV/AIDS• What is the shift of paradigm about HIV/AIDS?– A shift from the historical notion of an “acute deadly infectiousdisease” to the new evidence of a “chronic (infectious) disease”– With an appropriate access to ARV and care, the life expectancy isdramatically increasing (a recent cohort study published in 2011 has found that life expectancy for adults with HIVtreated with antiretrovirals has increased by over 15 years between 1996 and 2008, but is still 13 years less than the general population)– With an appropriate access to ARV and care, an almost normalprofessional life is possible– To be considered with a similar impact on work attendance asdiabetes, COPD, or other chronic illnessesAppropriate access to treatment and care is to thebenefit of both employers and HIV-infected workersThe best way to protect your(our)self is to knowyour(our) HIV status (At the end of 2011 it is estimated that only half of all people living withHIV know their HIV status. UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2012)
Preventing yourself in the workplace: “Yes wecan”, with a relevant workplace policy andprogram on HIV/AIDS• How to take into account the shift of paradigm from “acutedeadly infectious disease” to “chronic (infectious) disease”at workplace?– To make a better awareness-raising to employees andemployers– To implement a participatory approach when a company and itsemployees decide to implement a HIV/AIDS program in theworkplace– To seek for local support: public health authorities, civil societyand NGOs– Companies to contribute to full access to prevention andtreatment and to actively participate to reach the triple “ZeroNew Infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS-RelatedDeaths” goal right away.