The human resource department has an enormous task of putting in place policy guidelines concerning the organization’s anti- HIV and AIDS compliance measures. HR must also ensure that occupational health issues are properly highlighted. HR should work in conjunction with retainers’ healthcare providers to ensure compliance especially when it comes to disclosure and other related matters that have to do with the company’s employee.
A professional HR practitioner understands the role of a good working relationship with the employee and their place in organizational health. It will be noted that a professional HR practitioner would create an atmosphere of reconciliation, dispute resolution, and education in the organization and these have solved problems that could have resulted in protracted litigation.
My advice to HR practitioners is to be professional, seeks knowledge and handles every matter not only from the point of law but also with diplomacy, tact, and empathy.
It has been estimated that about 1.9 Million Nigerians are living with HIV and people within the age bracket of 15-49 are about 1.5% of this figure means that the Nation’s active population is affected. In the year 2018, it was gathered that we had 53,000 deaths related to AIDS.
However, it would be realized that with access to anti-retroviral drugs, better awareness, and treatment the rate of infection dropped between 2015 and 2017 which gives the impression that the Anti-Discrimination Act plays a positive role in curbing the incident of new infection and AIDS-related death.
It should be of note that HIV is classified as incurable today just like we have had other diseases in time past which were tagged incurable but were later declassified and completely eliminated. It is in the same spirit that efforts and research works are ongoing to find a permanent cure to HIV, while this is being done people living with the virus must be accommodated, not discriminated against and be treated as human.
It has been proven that countries like Argentina and Demark that have significantly reduced AIDS-related death due to universal free access to treatment and antiretroviral drugs. According to a World Bank study Argentine allocates 80% of total HIV and AIDS spending to care and treatment.
A recent report indicates that Denmark could become the first HIV-free country in the world. It is hoped that one day Nigeria will become HIV-Free.
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