HIV and AIDS affect every segment of society: the home, religious institutions, and the workplace. The World Health Organization estimates that a minimum of 40 million people worldwide will be infected with HIV by the year 2000. The potential worldwide economic impact of this infection rate could equal 1.4% of the world gross domestic product annually.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Business Responds to AIDS (BRTA)/Labor Responds to AIDS (LRTA) Programs are designed to help businesses and unions across the country develop and implement comprehensive workplace-based HIV and AIDS prevention education programs for employees, their families, and the community. The goals of this program are to prevent the spread of HIV, promote HIV education, prevent discrimination, and foster community service and volunteerism both in the workplace and in the community. In order to achieve these goals, BRTA/LRTA have developed materials and technical assistance to assist business and unions in forming comprehensive HIV and AIDS workplace programs.
- It is estimated that 650,000 to 900,000 people in the United States are currently infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
- AIDS is the leading cause of death among adults between the ages of 25 and 44. More than half (53%) of our Nation's 126 million workers are in that age group.
- One in 6 large U.S. work sites (more than 50 employees) and 1 in 16 small U.S.work sites (fewer than 50 employees) have experienced an employee with HIV infection or AIDS.
- 75% of working Americans surveyed said their employees should offer a formal workplace AIDS education initiative.
- As with any catastrophic illness, AIDS can affect an employer in many ways.
- Insurance and health care costs
- Legal considerations
- Confidentiality and privacy
- Work disruption
- Discrimination concerns
- Consumer concerns
- Disability requirements
- Employee morale
- Job accommodation
Business Responds To AIDS: Results From A National Survey In The U.S., Cynthia Jorgensen.