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One rule to remember when it comes to creating an HIV health and wellness programme in your workplace

by , 28 November 2014
Managing HIV in your workplace requires general healthcare management. After all, HIV/AIDS leaves your employees vulnerable to all manner of diseases. If your HIV+ employees are sick, it could make your other employees sick, whether they're HIV+ or not.

This is where a health and wellness programme can help. These programmes help all your employees stay healthy no matter what their HIV status is.

Creating a health and wellness programme gives your employees access to medical treatment, care and information.

But you must remember this one rule when you create yours...

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And it can badly affect your business if you don't do something about it.

Don't forget to follow this rule when you create a health and wellness programme

The rule to remember is your health and wellness programme should never just focus on physical health. 
It's important to offer mental healthcare too. 
This is because fear, isolation or bullying can cause serious mental health problems.
Think about it: Your HIV+ employee, Michael is isolated and bullied by his colleagues. As a result, he ends up severely depressed. 
On the other side of the scale, Jacob is so scared of working with someone who has HIV, he develops a lot of anxiety. 
If your health and wellness programme offers counselling and education, you can protect your employees' mental health from these situations. 
Counselling is as important as physical healthcare. You can use it to help further educate your employees and reduce the stigma around HIV.
For example, if Jacob goes to speak to a counsellor, the counsellor will explain to him how HIV transmissions happen and that he won't contract the disease just from working with Michael. 
This benefits your company by reducing absenteeism and improving productivity. 
One company where this is evident is Volkswagen. 
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Here's how Volkswagen used its health and wellness programme to reduce absenteeism 

Volkswagen (VW) designed its programme to help management and employees address productivity and absenteeism issues. It did this by resolving personal concerns. These included health, marital, family, financial, alcohol, drug, legal, emotional, stress and other personal issues. These are the kinds of issues that can affect work performance and attendance.
It dealt with all of these matters in a confidential and effective manner. The company partnered with Careways, a health support services company, to achieve its goal.
Its programme included health risk assessments, education and awareness aimed to improve the overall health of its employees and their lives.
By addressing the entire range of mental stress in the workplace, lifestyle diseases and work-life balance, VW helped improve individual wellness. 
Through this programme, VW gave its employees a better quality of life, at work and at home. As a result, it improved productivity amongst all its employees. 
Ensure your health and wellness programme covers your employees' mental health, so you can keep them happy, healthy and productive no matter what their HIV status is. 

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