Dealing With AIDS At the Workplace

The AIDS epidemic has, to-date, altered the lives of millions of people across the world. So hard has the epidemic hit that in some countries, a nation’s workforce is affected remarkably. This has an impact on the performance of different organizations, and certainly warrants attention at the workplace as far as health and this disease are concerned..

At a global level, various players in the corporate circle have realized this impact, and have resorted to creating HIV/AIDS programs whose sole purpose is to assist employees and improve corporate health and wellness. For these programs to be successful however, it is important for employers to create strategic approaches.

Why is AIDS a big concern for organizations?

The rapid spread of AIDS has made it one of the biggest hurdles, and has contributed to the world’s biggest health calamities in recent years. The fact that it can take years for an employee to show symptoms of the disease only compounds the problem for companies looking to implement AIDS policies and programs.

The other reason why the AIDS epidemic is of grave concern or organizations is that unlike other diseases, AIDS transforms the everyday life of infected and affected employees. In the long run, there is decreased productivity and increased absenteeism. The latter results from sick leaves taken to go to hospital as the disease ravages affected employees. Absenteeism also leads to soaring employee costs.

These costs manifest themselves in premium rates for corporate health insurance schemes and the cost of hiring and recruiting employees to replace those affected. Despite the fact that the treatment for this condition has become more affordable in recent years, the reality that AIDS patients require long-term care still makes the disease a big issue for companies.

How can corporate organizations be involved in this?

Due to the influence that AIDS has on a company’s performance with the presence of affected employees, it is only wise that a company makes arrangements on how to address this. One of the time-tested ways is to create policies and programs that focus on helping infected employees, and by extension, assisting affected families.

Since corporate organizations vary in terms of their size and core business, such programs and policies must be tailor-made for the specific company. Typically, this involves assessing the situation first to establish the scope of the problem before formulating policies to the same effect. Generally, these policies guide both employers and employees in recruiting employees with AIDS as well as interacting with them as far as work is concerned.

Policy formulation may then be followed by preventive programs that aim at disseminating correct information and keeping employees updated. Lastly, the organization can develop a long-term care program that offers counseling services.

Where can companies source services relevant to AIDS policy formulation?

Owing to the fact that AIDS presents special challenges that transcend corporate health wellness, it is important for companies to look for the correct service providers to partner with in AIDS policy formulation. In this regard, national health authorities in respective countries constitute ideal partners in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

AIDS has created an unprecedented medical challenge at the workplace, making it critical for corporate organizations to take action. By developing relevant policies and programs, companies are able to create a strategy to cope with the effects of the disease on staff members, improving productivity in the long-term.