Your company's HIV risk doesn't just affect you. It affects your employees, their families and the community around you.
Every decision you have about HIV management in your workplace affects all of those people. That's why HIV management mustn't be a closed door discussion.
You need to involve the relevant people and get their input. They could prove invaluable in helping you create training, care and prevention strategies.
So, to ensure you talk to the RIGHT people, we're going to tell you who they are...
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Five ways HIV or Aids can impact your workforce and business
You only need to read the stats about the impact of HIV and Aids on workforces to see it's something you need to worry about as an employer in South Africa.
And it can badly affect your business if you don't do something about it.
These are the people you need to speak to when you discuss HIV in the workplace
You should speak to:
• Your employees;
• Managers, business shareholders and investors;
• Trade unions;
• Community representatives; and
• Independent experts.
These people can give you all the relevant information about HIV and how it impacts them. But more than that, speaking to these people will help you get their buy in.
If you can get buy in for managers, for example, they'll be more proactive in HIV management. Employee buy in means they'll take advantage of HIV tests and counselling.
By getting all these role players actively involved in your HIV management system, everyone will benefit because everyone will play their part.
Don't believe me? Take a look at what happened when Sasol involved these five groups in its HIV management discussions.
Here's how involving all these people helped Sasol improve its HIV management system
Sasol spoke to the five groups of people I mentioned when it created its HIV management system. By discussing this with all these people it created a system that:
- Reduced the rate of infection throughout the group: and
- Extended the quality of life of infected employees by providing healthcare.
Sasol's programme provided:
- Access to counseling;
- HIV testing;
- HIV/Aids education;
- Treatment for illnesses like tuberculosis and malaria;
- Treatment of sexually transmitted infections;
- Measures to eliminate discrimination because of HIV/Aids status; and
- Healthcare management.
An essential first step in this programme was facilitating employee access to healthcare options and promoting behavioural changes to avoid risky behaviours.
So what makes Sasol's HIV management system different?
Here's why Sasol's HIV management system is special
Sasol's HIV management system is worth taking note of because it had an 82% uptake rate. This means 82% of Sasol's employees and managers actually made use of the management system.
As a result, only 7.1% of employees tested positive for HIV. That's well below Sasol's estimated actuarial prevalence rate of 19%.
So why was Sasol's system so effective?
The success comes from the high level of management responsibility for the system and the participation of trade union representatives.
So if you want your HIV management system to be truly effective, follow Sasol's example and involve these five groups of people. Their input can help you ensure more employees and managers take up your HIV preventions methods.