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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.
MCH NEWS PAC. 1987 Fall; 2(4):5, 11.Governmental policies and legislation aimed at validating the dual role of women as mothers and wage earners can significantly strengthen breastfeeding promotion efforts. Examples of such laws and policies are maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks at the workplace, allowances for pregnant women and new mothers, rooming-in at hospitals, child care at the worksite, flexible work schedules for new mothers, and a national marketing code for breastmilk substitutes. The International labor Organization (ILO) has played an important role in setting international standards to protect working mothers. The ILO defines minimal maternity protection as encompassing: a compulsory period of 6 weeks' leave after delivery; entitlement to a further 6 weeks of leave; the provision during maternity leave of benefits sufficient for the full and healthy maintenance of the child; medical care by a qualified midwife or physician; authorization to interrupt work for the purpose of breastfeeding; and protection from dismissal during maternity leave. In many countries there is a lack of public awareness of existing laws or policies; i.e., working women may not know they are entitled to maternity leave, or pediatricians may not know that the government has developed a marketing code for breastmilk substitutes. Overall, the enactment and enforcement of legislation can ensure the longterm effectiveness of breastfeeding promotion by raising the consciousness of individuals and institutions, putting breastfeeding activities in the wider context of support for women's rights, recognizing the dual roles of women, and institutionalizing and legitimating support for breastfeeding.