Don’t spend all your working hours worrying about your status…
June 30th is National Testing Day… Take the test & Take the Next Step.
Whether a negative or positive result, take the next step to maintain good health. The principle ‘Prevention’ of the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS states that HIV transmission is preventable.
Knowing your status provides a number of advantages. Some of these are:
- Maintained productivity; Peace of mind at home and at work.
- Reduce the risk of transmission at the workplace.
- Longevity of employment.
- Access to early treatment & prevention of mother-to-child transmission.
- Provision of reasonable accommodations as a result of voluntary disclosure.
Take the Test & Take the Next Step: Check your status and know. Take steps to be good to go!
Prevent HIV transmission in the workplace!
The Next Step… Work Ready
Only 30 minutes of your lunch break… Take the Test!
You must have a valid form of National Identification (ID, DP, Passport)
Step 1: Visit a Health Facility, request Voluntary Counselling and Testing Services, and register
Step 2: Pre- counselling; provision of education on HIV transmission and prevention.
Step 3: Administration of the Rapid HIV Test-The testing instrument requires 15 minutes for configuration of results, during this time there will be further discussion with the Tester to ensure comfort and support.
Step 4 - Post counselling:
Negative Result: Client informed of status, reinforcement of safe sexual practices and encouragement to change unsafe behaviour to avoid infection. The result form is provided with a follow-up date.
Positive Result: Client informed of status, verbal support and time is given for processing and discussion. Referral and information for treatment and psychosocial care and support will be provided.
Work and Learn… Debunking Myths about HIV Testing.
- It takes weeks to get results.
- If my partner test negative, I am also negative and therefore I don’t need to test.
- A big needle is used to draw blood for an HIV Test.
- My results would be shared with others.
- If I engage in unprotected sex with someone last night and take an HIV test the following day, the result will be accurate/ reliable.
The results of a Rapid HIV Test are delivered in 15 minutes.
An HIV test should be taken by both partners because HIV is not transmitted during every sexual encounter.
A lancet, similar to what is used for glucose testing is used to prick the finger for blood to place on the instrument.
Unique identification codes are created for each person that accesses HIV testing, which cannot be used to identify the client otherwise. In addition, all healthcare providers are ethically bound to maintain client confidentiality.
The window period is 3- 6 months. This represents the time from HIV infection to the development of antibodies in your blood for detection on an HIV test. The result will not be accurate/ reliable if the test is taken before this period.
Work and Learn…Debunking Misconceptions about living with HIV.
- Life is over with a positive result. HIV is a death sentence.
- If both my partner and I are positive, we can have unprotected sex.
- If I test positive for HIV, I have AIDS.
- I have to tell my employer about my HIV status.
- I’ll have to take dozens of pills every day.
- I’ll have to leave my job because of my status.
Over 30-plus years of advancements in research and treatment allow persons living with HIV to live long healthy lives and, fulfil their goals. It is possible to have a family, children and even unprotected sex without transmitting HIV if undetectable.
Re-infection can take place as there are different strains of HIV. This can further cause treatment resistance, making it harder for treatment to work. It can also lead to the immune system breaking down more quickly.
Being HIV positive does not mean you have AIDS. HIV can advance to AIDS if it is not adequately treated.
According to the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS, you do not have to disclose your status to your employer, neither should your employer request to know your status.
Due to advancements in research and treatment, most people starting on HIV anti-retroviral therapy take one to four pills daily. You may be able to take medicines that combine two or three drugs in a single pill and there is ongoing research toward long-lasting injectable treatment.
The National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDS advocates for persons living with HIV to be retained in employment. The policy posits that an HIV status is not grounds for termination, nor should testing be a requirement for employment or promotion.