End stigma on HIV+ job recruits

Published: Friday | February 8, 2013 Comments 0

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A recent advertisement advocates that companies should have a policy on HIV such that there will be no discrimination against persons with this condition. The policy will be binding on the company and on its staff.

A policy document will only affirm the attitude of the company towards their rights as employees: that it will not show bias against them in any way, and that its co-workers must treat them with respect and understanding.

The question arises: Who would have to know that X, say, has HIV? Does the policy only trip in if X complains of discrimination? Should he advise the company if he discovers that he has the condition? Should he tell his close colleagues at work? Also, does the company have the right to know if a prospective employee has HIV?

The answers to these questions are the implementation details that would form regulations under the policy. If there is understanding and cooperation, persons with HIV or other conditions can talk freely about their condition if they are asked, or they might wish to share an experience or obtain advice.

I would wish to recommend something similar for homosexuals - that is, that companies should declare their policy on the treatment of homosexuals so that they also would benefit from openness in how the company and staff relate to them.

CEDRIC HAROLD

cbharold@cwjamaica.com

Kingston 6

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