The importance of voluntary counselling and confidential testing for HIV in the workplace

More, Pontsho Elizabeth (2007-12)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


“Managing the epidemic appropriately and effectively in the workplace is in itself a critical factor for the future viability of the organisation and for the health and welfare of its employees. In this respect, the organisation and all its employees need to understand the various complexities of the epidemic and find joint solutions for the challenges faced through a participatory process”. This is a preamble to the organisation’s AIDS Policy (which from now henceforth will be referred to as the Bank). The organisation in question is a financial institution which has come to realise that not only is it exposed to escalating business risks because of HIV/AIDS, which remains foreign, unquantifiable, poorly understood and inadequately addressed. The aim of the research study was to focus on the importance of voluntary counseling and confidential testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS affected and infected employees in the workplace. It is imperative that the epidemic will affect every workplace, with prolonged employee illness, absenteeism, and death impacting on productivity, employee benefits, occupational health and safety, production loss and workplace morale. The research study and article aims at providing and critiquing the VCT approach initiated during 2005 and implemented over a period of 18 months at the bank as a sequel to its HIV/AIDS campaign in a manner that establishes whether the campaign influenced employee motivation for VCT. The research also examined the specific approach for voluntary testing, and the degree to which this approach has enhanced both the client – personal mastery and Wellness models in the bank. The suggestion is the scepticism around VCT and its effect will be reduced. VCT wellness and personal mastery will be discussed, and suggestions and guidelines on how this could be successful will be summed at the end of the article. VCT, in these discussions, will be defined to address pre-test counselling and post-counselling, associated with HIV/AIDS testing. The approach used by the organisation will be discussed further and elaborated on. In order to ensure success the following variables were adhered to: • Passion for people; • Passion for communication; • Passion for acknowledgement and understanding people.

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