HIV and AIDS and the world of work

An estimated 37 million people globally are living with HIV. Most of them are in the productive age of 15-49 years.

Despite the progress made in the AIDS response, a lot of work still needs to be done to achieve the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat. In June 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Political Declaration.

The Declaration includes a set of specifi c, time-bound targets that must be reached by 2020 to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Declaration adopts a rights-based approach, calls for strengthening the multi- sectoral response to HV and AIDS and ending HIV and AIDS related stigma and discrimination in all settings.

The Declaration in its para 63(d) states: “Underscore the need to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on workers, and their families, and their dependents, workplaces and economies, including by taking into account all relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization, as well as the guidance provided by the relevant International Labour Organization recommendations, including the Recommendation on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work, 2010 (No. 200), and call upon employers, trade and labour unions, employees and volunteers to take measures to eliminate stigma and discrimination, protect, promote and respect human rights and facilitate access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support”.

The workplace is well positioned to contribute to the HIV response by expanding the HIV prevention services; promoting voluntary counselling and testing; reducing stigma and discrimination; facilitating public-private partnerships; and expanding the coverage of social protection.

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