Join government's fight against HIV and Aids: Set up an HIV and Aids workplace programme in your company
The South Africa government has been lauded in a United Nations report for its success in the fight against HIV and Aids. According to the report presented by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon on Monday, Aids-related deaths in South Africa had significantly dropped over the last three years. While this is impressive, the fight against HIV and Aids is far from over and that's why your company needs to lend a hand as well. Here's how an HIV and Aids workplace programme can help the fight against HIV.
According to the ANC, the decrease in Aids deaths mentioned in the UN report is a direct result of the ANC government's successful HIV and Aids treatment programmes over the last five years, the Times Live reports.
Among the key interventions were the voluntary counselling and testing campaign.
And this is just one of the ways your company's HIV and Aids workplace programme can help governments' fight against HIV over and above your legal obligation to promote a safe workplace.
Here's what an HIV and Aids workplace programme can do for your employees' health and safety
According to The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, experience has shown that only once a person knows his HIV status, does he start taking ownership of his status. It's at this point that behaviour change takes place and that's the key component you can use to manage HIV in the workplace.
VERY few employees have themselves tested while they're still well and healthy, they usually wait until they become ill. But, an HIV programme can help promote frequent testing.
If an employee detects his positive status early, he can have a better understanding of how to keep his immune system strong and healthy. As a result, he can extent his life expectancy.
On the other hand, employees who test HIV negative will be more inclined to maintain their HIV status when they understand how the virus works, how it's spread and how one can protect oneself.
Your company's HIV programme could help create a safe environment with a policy of non-discrimination, giving employees an intimate understanding of HIV and Aids through training. In addition, if your company's management leads by example in testing for HIV, this could result in the majority having themselves tested and empowering themselves to manage their status effectively through the programme.
It'll also validate your instructions that your first aiders should always wear gloves before treating any staff after an accident. Yes, your employees' HIV status is confidential, but by understanding the risks involved staff will be more cautious before putting their own health in danger.
Remember that your company's HIV programme could be instrumental in empowering employees to continue to live long, happy and productive lives regardless of their status.