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HIV/AIDS Workplace programming

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					Background of the program and Results of the rapid HIV prevalence done on Tutulane’s membership; April 2008

Prepared by Kennedy Oulu for Tutulane HIV Workplace Committee and program

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HIV is not just a public health issue, it is a workplace issue; a development challenge. The epidemic reverses gains in employment and social protection including; loss of earnings, reduced productivity and destruction of the consumer base thus resulting in loss of markets. The workplace must be in the frontline of the fight against HIV/AIDS. This presentation seeks to mprovide practical steps in implementing workplace prevention and care programs
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AS A BUSINESS ISSUE:  If a staff person primarily responsible for handling accounts receivable experiences frequent or prolonged absences, cash flow is likely to suffer.  Skills are acquired over time, and not readily replaced by new employees.  The particular business environment/organizational environment shapes skills and expertise that can take months or years to replace  HIV increases costs of employee healthcare, recruitment and training.
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The concern about the disease and its impact on organizations and companies alike is now as widespread as the disease itself. ……HIV/AIDS cuts into organizations expenses by increasing costs of employee healthcare, recruitment and training. It reduces organizations income as expenses increase, service delivery fails to adhere to planned schedules and targets and clients change their preferences as quality of service is compromised and their own essential needs pushed to the sides, as they eat into their savings to pay for healthcare.
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HIV/AIDS does not just affect workers/employees/volunteers on the job. It causes a major drain on family savings and resources. The increase in expenses due to HIV is not only felt by organizations, but families too. …..An outcome of loss of wages… ..A person becomes too sick to work ..Increase in medical expenses to treat conditions associated with the infection ..Care needs of the patient increase at home ……………Further limiting income
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Keeping employees/volunteers healthy and on job is essential for the well being of the organization, employees/volunteers and their families. Keeping the organization healthy is also essential for the continued employment of workers/volunteers and provision of quality service to the community and or target. In the long run, it is a win-win situation, but in the short run, organizations bear the brunt. …..It is more expensive to close your eyes and do nothing that to do something. Start if you haven’t.
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Increase cost of healthcare, life and safety insurance coverage Shortens the accumulation period of retirement funds Increasing costs of providing medical assistance Increasing costs of death benefits Increasing recruitment, training and retraining costs Increased absenteeism Declining morale Loss of technical skills and experiential knowledge Increased staff turnover
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Create an organization policy on HIV/AIDS, its dissemination to employees and volunteers, its implementation, monitoring and evaluation(including updating) Information on HIV/AIDS, ways of preventing transmission, places to seek further information and available and on-going support for responsible sexual behaviour Condom distribution at readily accessible points around the workplace(including female condoms)

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What is the prevalence of HIV infection in the workplace?  How is HIV affecting worker productivity?  How are changes in labour productivity affecting organizational costs?  What will investment in HIV prevention and care cost the organization?  Do prevention programs work(evidences)?
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Will the organization respect my privacy if I seek HIV information and or services? Will the organization use HIV results to fire me or deny me benefits? How can we as employees contribute to and strengthen organization workplace program and policies? What are our roles in the program design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation?

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The only unassailable way is to measure the impact of HIV/AIDS in the workplace. This can be through; 1. HIV prevalence survey/Rapid epidemiology test 2. Extrapolate national/district prevalence rate to the workplace and use 3. Use commonly collected organization data as indicators of trends affecting the organization(i.e. training costs, medical care and or death benefits)

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Tutulane AIDS Organization, has been involved in developing and strengthening her HIV workplace program since the conception and establishment of the HIV/AIDS workplace policy in 2007.
The workplace committee on HIV/AIDS, expressly formed within the above policy was therefore mandated by the BOT, staff and volunteers of Tutulane to undertake a rapid epidemiology test and confirm the extent of HIV within the workplace.

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To estimate the number of Tutulane members who are HIV positive To show leadership will to the community on the importance of HTC To have a baseline for planning for HIV programs at the workplace To understand the magnitude of the problem of HIV at the workplace

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To develop a sustainable labour planning and review criteria for the organization To program a rational approach to managing HIV at the workplace To gauge Tutulane’s preparedness to respond to HIV/AIDS within her workplace To send a message to the workplace of Tutulane’s commitment to prevent escalation of HIV at the workplace

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The rapid test targeted all departments and structures within Tutulane AIDS Organization. The volunteer membership of Tutulane is about 347 volunteers in total, within diverse departments.
The following departments were expected to be reached: ◦ HIV workplace committee ◦ Board of Trustees

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◦ Community Based Child Care(CBCC) ◦ PASAKA ◦ Vocational Centre ◦ Home Based Care ◦ Theatre for Development(TFD)
In the end, the following departments turned up and were counselled, tested and given results:

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Department/s ection

Numbe Number r C&T expect ed
60 64 10 15 11 21 20 7 8

PASAKA HBC BOT VOCATIONAL CENTRE WORKPLACE COMMITTEE

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Depart ment/s ection

Total Numbe r C&T

Numbe r Testing +ve

Numbe r Testing -ve

CBCC
PASAKA HBC VOCATI ONAL CENTRE HIV COMMI TTEE TOTAL

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21 20 7

3
0 0 0

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21 20 7

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1

7

77

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73

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Department

Number C&T

Number +ve

Number -ve

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CBCC PASAKA HBC VOCATIONAL CENTRE HIV COMMITTEE 3 21 4 2 5

F
18 16 5 3

M
0 0 0 0 1

F
3 0 0 0

M
3 21 4 2 4

F
12 16 5 3

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TOTAL NUMBER NUMBER NUMBER TOTAL COUNSELED, TESTING TESTING TESTED AND GIVEN +VE -VE RESULTS MALE FEMALE TOTAL 1 3 4 34 39 73 35 42 77
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In a total of 347 or thereabout, 77 individuals were counselled, tested and received results. This represents 22.2% turnout…..NOT REFRESHING THOUGH Out of the 77 individuals who attended counselling, testing and received their results, 35 were male and 42 female, showing a notable parity in motive to know status by gender

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Among the 77 who came out for counselling and testing, 4 were HIV+, representing a prevalence rate of 5.2%. This is very low, compared to the prevalence in Chitipa at 18% and the national prevalence at 14.4%
Comparative analysis or sero-positivity by gender illustrates that 1/35 males(2.86%) were HIV +ve against 3/42 female(7.1%)

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More women turned out for the test than men. The number of men swelled just because PASAKA is an exclusive male department More female are positive, but this cannot be representative due to the little deviation in the numbers tested between gender The risk index of the organization to the impact of HIV/AIDS is still relatively low.

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There is a clear awareness by the membership of Tutulane on the significance of counselling and testing as shown by the turn out within only 2 weeks. There is a need to protect and support those infected through access to information and by supportive organization policies Information and interventions on HIV/AIDS should be made accessible to all members of Tutulane.

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Serious focus though should still concentrate on the community, but protecting the agents in Tutulane from risk

We know what to do. Let us do it unto ourselves and unto others.

END

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Description: This document is an actual statement of how we started our HIV/AIDS workplace program in Malawi