Hi, We have recently come to know that one of our staff is HIV positive ... what should a employer do in this situation?? Please advice ! Regards, SR
From India, Ambala
Dear Sunita Roy,
For anyone being afflicted with HIV/AIDS is quite unfortunate as it is feared as a highly infectious disease. Even the affected person's close relatives disrelish moving with him in close quarters; hence needless to talk about the apathy of others particularly work-place associates.Similarly, as the chances of health deterioration of the individual is more affecting his productivity in work, the employer stands faced with problems like job-reallocation, condoning frequent absence from work, tacit refusal or reluctance of other employees to work along with such a person and the like. To avoid such a risky situation, any employer may consider it easy and prudent to take such an employee out of employment by any means through cajolery or compulsion. But, there are many other options to tackle this unusual issue based on humanitarian consideration and objective measures of rehabilitation of HIV+ employees. Medical treatment for this disease has become so advanced that it can be contained well at a particular stage by taking proper treatment under constant medical care and the patient can lead a normal life with minimal restrictions. The impact of the employment HIV+ employees on the work-place environment has been already much researched and various methods of retention of such employees have been found out and being successfully adopted in the West and some African countries.Ample literature is available on the Net. Better browse the Net and choose a suitable method.

From India, Salem
Dear Sunita,
Mr Umakanthan has given important tips. Going further, I would say not to ostracise the HIV+ infected employee. There is every possibility of treating this employee as outcaste. If required, then you may issue notice for treating HIV+ infected employee at par with others.
By now he must have started taking the treatment. Therefore, talk with the management and find out what support can you provide as treatment could stretch even for two years. Therefore, his HOD must be supportive by being lenient but without compromising department's deliverables. Lastly, any patient whether HIV+ or otherwise, needs to fight the disease emotionally. Therefore, if possible, arrange medical counselling.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Friend,
A most answerable question and need a good approach. First, take the employee in confident, rather than get rid of the employee better give an opportunity to live a normal life by the employee giving him the works that can be managed by him/her. Convey the nearest medical cell about the employee and to the medical board, the prime thing you have to do. Provide him leave as and when required to get medical aids without much delay from your office/work place. Always, provide a place for that employee in case if you cannot provide these facilities, better provide with financial assistance for his living as a measure of welfare to the employees and take care of the situation, this will help stop spreading of the disease, our kindness is the best protector of the society.
Never investigate how he/she got the disease, it is not our agenda, yet, spread how to protect from the disease dreaded to life to others for their benefits...It is very much essential for the good of the organisation...

From India, Arcot
Dear anonymous
Please check the medical aspect of the disease. It is not contagious disease. By touching HIV +ve person no one catches the virus. This happens only with fluid exchange. Some precautions should be advised to the guy by doctor.
Moreover, this guy has not committed any crime. May be some unfortunate incident resulted in him getting the virus. There are multiple ways this could have happened, not only sexually but by transfusion of defected blood, by syringe etc.
Legally he is entitled to his job.
Warm Regards
Bharat Gera
HR Consultant

From India, Thane
We are living in the 21 century and need to be equiped to deal with health issues. WHO says not to stigmatize and discriminate persons living with HIV/AIDS. Is there a labour policy on HIV /AIDS in the workplace in India? This document gives guidance on how employees and employers should deal with persons living or affected by HIV/AIDS. If there is none( I would be surprize if India has none) go to the WHO website and search for the info.
Providing the person is on treatment( encourage to stay on same), there is absoutlely no harm to anyone. Depending on the nature of the job, the person should not be assigned tasks that would expose them to the risks of cut and injuries that would cause blood exposure. Actuallly, the chances are that a person living with HIV/AIDS will out live us who are HIV free. Time off and support must to be given to the person to attend follow up visits; depending on the treatment plan, the person goes once every 3 months. Most persons take 1 pill at nights only.
Carol Trotman
Medical Technologist

From Guyana, Georgetown

Attached Files
File Type: pdf ILO guidance on HIV Policy in the workplace.pdf (112.3 KB, 89 views)

Dear professional colleague,
While all sympathies are with the unfortunate HIV-infected employee, it also needs to be ensured the health of other co-workers is not put at risk.
All help in terms of financial assistance, counselling , time off and light work may be considered up to a point.The organization's performance also needs to be balanced with the humane approach.
Is it possible to send the employee on loss of pay leave keeping his lien on the job intact till he gets well/fit?
Pl see if it works in faviour both.
Vinayak Nagarkar

From India, Mumbai
Dear Anonymous,
If there are no performance/discipline issues with this employee, he should be allowed to continue his job respectfully. If you are not willing to allow him to stay mentally & physically engaged, it will be a great dis favor to the humanity & a severe cruelty on employee.
Since it is not a contagious disease, and if colleagues are okay with it, he must be allowed to continue.
Warm Regards
Bharat Gera
HR Consultant

From India, Thane
Greeting of the day
I am totally agree with Mr. Barat Gera that If a infected person who is not harmful to his co workers should be allowed to work respectfully. we should more supportive for him as much as we can.

From India, Delhi
Please see attached India National HIV/AIDS policy. Carol
From Guyana, Georgetown

Attached Files
File Type: pdf India NationalPolicyonHIVAIDS.pdf (318.6 KB, 32 views)

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