Thursday, March 23, 2006

The scourge of HIV/AIDS and in the workplace

The scourge of HIV/AIDS has become a serious and a sad phenomena in South Africa and throughout the world. Having been to Christine Randall's presentation, I came to the conclusion that so many challenges are still facing the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Firstly there is the problem with the education itself. As Zanele mentioned, most people are illiterate and do not understand messages in the media. Also Christine mentioned that there should be a concerted effort to educate the youth about sex and its effect because they are the people who are most at risk.Then there is the role of stress in HIV. Again some people from certain cultural perspectives regard HIV and the whole concept of sexuality as a taboo. Thus they do not find it easy to reveal their HIV status and begin to harbour it in inside. As a result they die quickly because of stress. Shameen also mentioned in her presentation that 80% of people who report sick are not exactly sick but are undergoing stress.
Thirdly there is the role of stigma and discrimination. As long as some people still fear and are ignorant about HIV/AIDS we will not go anywhere as a country. For as a human being living in South Africa I know people who died from AIDS and thus cannot begin to judge. Then there are problems with the spread of HIV/AIDS caused by alcohol consumption especially amongst the youth, the role of sex workers and poverty.

Christine also mentioned that it is important for the workplace to be considerate about HIV/AIDS. Some employers are very supportive of their HIV positive employees. The role of education should play an important role to alleviate stigma and to prevent employees from being infected. Lastly I also believe that HIV/AIDS does not only affect the infected person emotionally and physically but involves also their family, community and other workers. Thus the employee assistance programme should also play a role in assisting the infected workers as well as their family and fellow workers in dealing with HIV/AIDS.

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