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[Unpublished] 1988.  p. (WHO/GPA/INF/88.7)Government, trade union, business, and public health representatives from 18 countries met in Geneva in June 1988 to discuss risk factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the workplace, the response of workers and management to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, and the potential use of the workplace for health education activities. The emphasis was on occupational settings where there is no risk of transmittal of the HIV from worker to worker or worker to client. Protection of the human rights and dignity of HIV-infected workers should be the cornerstone of occupational policy on AIDS; workers with symptomatic HIV infection should be accorded the same treatment as any other worker with an illness. Pre-employment screening for HIV infection is discriminatory and should be prohibited. Employees should be under no obligation to inform their employer about their HIV status. Any information about seropositivity on the part of individual workers should be kept confidential by the employer to protect the employee from discrimination and social stigmatization. To create a climate of mutual understanding, unions and employers are urged to organize educational campaigns. HIV- infected individuals should be entitled to work as long as they are able, and efforts should be make to seek reasonable alternative working arrangements if feasible. Finally, HIV-infected persons should not be excluded from social security benefits and other occupationally related benefits. Overall, the AIDS crisis presents employers with an opportunity to improve working relationships in a way that enhances human rights and ensures freedom from discrimination.
AIDS ACTION. 1988 Dec; (5):3-4.The 1988 Consultation on Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Workplace, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), addressed 3 issues: 1) risk factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the workplace, 2) the response of businesses and workers to the AIDS epidemic, and 3) use of the workplace for AIDS education. There is no evidence to suggest that HIV can be transmitted by casual, person-to-person contact in the workplace. The central policy issue for businesses concerns protection of the human rights of workers with HIV infection. Most workers with HIV/AIDS want to continue working as long as they are able to, and they should be enabled to contribute their creativity and productivity in a supportive occupational setting. Consistent policies and procedures should be developed at national and enterprise levels before HIV-related questions arise in the workplace. Such policies should be communicated to all concerned, continually reviewed in the light of scientific and epidemiologic evidence, monitored for their successful implementation, and evaluated for their effectiveness. Pre-employment HIV/AIDS screening, whether for assessment of fitness to work or for insurance purposes, should not be required and raises serious concerns about discrimination. Moreover, there should be no obligation on the worker's part to inform his or her employer if HIV infection develops. Information and educational activities at the workplace are essential to create the climate of collective responsibility and mutual understanding required to protect individuals with HIV or AIDS from stigmatization and discrimination by co-workers, employers or clients, and unions.