5 Aids to help companies in the HIV/AIDS pandemic


The latest statistics on HIV and Aids, according to the UNAIDS Gap Report in 2016, shows that South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic profile in the world.



The latest statistics on HIV and Aids, according to the UNAIDS Gap Report in 2016, shows that South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic profile in the world. An estimated 7 million South Africans live with HIV and during 2015 there were 380 000 new infections reported and 180 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

HIV is a global threat. Clearly it is every single person and organization’s responsibility to create awareness and education in this area to reduce the stigma associated with LTDs (Life Threatening Diseases) and to encourage prevention. If companies don’t create awareness and educate their staff, the workforce will lose a lot of their workforce soon.

Illness, death and loss of skills and experience due to the HIV epidemic plays a major role in the company’s capacity to deliver their goods and services because it influences productivity and ultimately the profitability of businesses. This in turn makes the labor costs rise because of staff welfare costs, recruitment, temp staff, absenteeism and a loss of trained skilled staff.

HIV/AIDS is a taking the best asset of any business – its people! Here are 5 aids to aid businesses in HIV/AIDS awareness:
1. Analyze the situation in your own company – Although legally companies are prohibited to test for HIV before hiring, it is important to find out, discretely how many HIV-positive employees you have by doing anonymous testing as part of the development of your HIV program. This will help you in calculating the costs regarding employees being absent, low productivity or even as serious as death. Then calculate the costs of presenting HIV/AIDS Awareness Training course and implementing a program. Money wise it makes sense and it is definitely a long term investment.

2. Businesses should take proactive approach in insuring their most valuable assets – this can be done through the education and awareness created through a HIV/AIDS training course presented by a professional. Partner with The Mindspa Institute who presents tailored courses in HIV/AIDS Awareness training to help businesses play a facilitative and educational role to make sure everyone is informed and educated.

3. Develop a HIV/AIDS Workplace policy – Include the HIV/AIDS policy as part of the business’s LTD (Life Threatening Diseases) policy that should be developed together with the employees and unions. This doesn’t need to be a timeous exercise. You basically need a HIV/AIDS education program to create awareness of how to prevent infection, care and support structures for those already infected or affected and then provide a policy that protects these employees from discrimination. It is important to keep evaluating your program and policy to be in line with the current needs of your employees and business.

4. Support one another – get a program in place that will support your staff lending assistance and care. Provide counselling and support like condom distribution and information on voluntary medical male circumcision.

5. Confidential – people handle a person different if they know about their HIV status. It is best to respect the privacy of the individual and be discrete.

Companies must assess their situations and analyze the impact that this will have for their future operations, but also see that they are investing in a partnership with government to solve both a social and medical problem that South Africa faces. The Mindspa Institute can help with creating awareness and educating your staff. South Africa has one of the biggest HIV treatment programs in the world and businesses need to be at the forefront of this pandemic through empowering their staff.




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