Health and Safety

HIV/Aids and how it affects human resources in South Africa

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According to UNAIDS there are currently 5,7 million South Africans living
with HIV/AIDS. This is the largest infected amount in any one country in
the world. There still however is a lack of awareness and understanding of
the effect of HIV/AIDS on companies and human resources in South Africa.

HIV/AIDS is affecting population growth amongst South Africans in this
country. The cost of HIV to the economy has been well documented from an
human resources in South Africa perspective:

1.      Taxpayer subsidies towards that person’s education yield no return
2.      That person no longer pays tax
3.      That person no longer supports children of a school-going age
4.      Child dependents may be orphaned or incapable of continuing with their
own educations because of having to care for the victim, or the victim’s
5.      Healthcare professionals, who are already over-worked and
under-resourced, now have to deal with the increased workload of HIV/AIDS
6.      Employers do not see a return on investment for any workplace training
they have provided

HIV and Aids are real serious problems in South Africa. Human Resources
Department in South Africa have to be really careful with how they deal
with any issues that arise from an employee or potential employees that
are infected with HIV/Aids. The government had addressed the issue of
HIV/Aids in the workplace in 2003 with the launch of the HIV/Aids
Technical Assistance Guidelines.

The Guidelines will help human resources in South Africa as they are
proposed by the Commission for Employment Equity and the department of
labour. These guidelines advise employers on how to deal with the issue of
HIV/Aids in a manner that will improve productivity and uplift the morale
of infected and affected workers.

The Guidelines warn against discrimination and stigmatisation, saying
these will not help HIV-positive workers to continue to contribute to the
country’s economy.

The 74-page document recommends that employers establish HIV/Aids
workplace committees, the mainstreaming of HIV/Aids and gender issues, as
well as the development of policy on prevention of the disease.

This document can be found at:


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