HIV/AIDS Policy Development: Defining and Identifying the Benefits of a Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Policy
An HIV/AIDS policy—whether a stand-alone policy or part of a larger policy addressing non-discrimination or life-threatening illnesses—defines a company's position on HIV/AIDS and should form the foundation for its entire HIV/AIDS program. Creating an HIV/AIDS workplace policy demonstrates that an organization is aware of how HIV/AIDS may affect both employees and profits. It can help de-stigmatize HIV/AIDS among staff and create an environment where they feel comfortable seeking more information on the disease. Designing policies and implementing workplace programs early provides several additional benefits to a company, including:
- Helping prevent the spread of HIV infection among employees, their families, and community
- Reducing employee fear, work disruption, and customer concern
- Demonstrating a company’s responsiveness, leadership, and commitment to employees and community
- Complying with National and State disability and antidiscrimination requirements as mandated in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and State and local statutes. Also, where applicable, addressing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and the Affordable Care Act.
What a comprehensive HIV & AIDS workplace/workforce policy looks like:
- Complies with federal, state, and local laws, including the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, OSHA guidelines, and the Affordable Care Act.
- Includes hiring, promotion, transfer, reasonable accommodation, and dismissal policies with regard to employees and potential employees with HIV and AIDS
- Maintains confidentiality of employee medical records and information
- Examines benefit programs available to employees and family members with HIV infection and AIDS and meets the standards of the Affordable Care Act.
- Promotes HIV/AIDS prevention and understanding through employee education
- Instructs managers and supervisors on how to address HIV/AIDS and related workplace discrimination
- Sets the standard of behavior and communication about HIV/AIDS expected of all staff
- Informs all staff on where to go for assistance and additional information
To learn more about workplace and workforce policies, click below: