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UN System HIV workplace programmes. HIV prevention, treatment and care for UN System employees and their families.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2006 Feb.  p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS/06.04E)Today, more than 20 years since the first cases of HIV infection were recognized, the epidemic continues to expand relentlessly. Despite early and ongoing efforts to contain its spread and to find a cure, 20 million people have died and an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide are living with HIV. In the latter half of 2004, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy in low-income and transitional countries increased dramatically, but still only about 12% of the 5.8 million people in developing and transitional countries who need treatment are getting treatment. The far-reaching social and economic consequences of the epidemic are having an impact on individuals, communities and the workplace. The UN, like many employers all over the world, is faced with major challenges related to the direct and indirect costs of the epidemic: increasing medical costs, absenteeism related to illness, high staff turnover, increasing recruitment and training costs, strained labour relations and the ever-increasing erosion of human capital. Many UN staff come from and/or work in countries with high HIV prevalence and perform duties that may put them at increased risk of exposure to the virus. The UN recognizes its duty as a socially responsible employer and has thus committed to protecting the rights of its staff by making HIV in the UN workplace a priority. (excerpt)
Access to treatment in the private-sector workplace: the provision of antiretroviral therapy by three companies in South Africa.
Geneva, Switzerland, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS], 2005 Jul. 47 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS/05.11E)The availability of antiretroviral therapy from 1996 onwards has made a huge impact on the lives of those people living with HIV who can afford the drugs. But most of the beneficiaries of the new drugs live in the world's high-income countries. For many of them, AIDS has become a manageable chronic condition rather than a death sentence. Affluent countries have seen a 70% decline in AIDS-related deaths since the introduction of antiretroviral therapy. In countries in which antiretroviral drugs are provided on a large scale (in Brazil, for example), the impact is remarkable. The number of hospital patients with AIDS is greatly reduced, people living with AIDS return to their families and jobs, and AIDS-related morbidity and mortality fall dramatically. However, for the huge majority of people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries, it is a different story. Neither they nor their countries' health-care services can afford to annually pay the huge amounts of money that the drugs cost, even taking into account recent reductions in drug prices. Cost has not been the only barrier to wide-scale provision of antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries. Health experts have expressed concerns about providing drugs to large numbers of people in settings where health-care services do not even offer adequate basic care, let alone the support and monitoring needed for antiretroviral therapy. The slow progress in antiretroviral provision has meant that although five to six million people need antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries, only about 700 000 had access to it by the end of 2004. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than four million people need treatment, but only 310 000 had access by the end of 2004. (excerpt)