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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)