Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DOLE warns employers vs HIV/AIDS discrimination

Photo source: WN / Trigedia

GMA TV News, Philippines

As it intensified its prevention drive on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Monday warned employers against discriminating employees afflicted with the disease.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque issued the warning as his department intensified its information drive on HIV and AIDS prevention in workplaces.

In a statement, Roque reminded employers of the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, where HIV testing should not be required as a precondition for employment.

Any form of discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS is sanctioned, he said.

Roque also said he has directed the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) to intensify its efforts in reaching and informing workers on the dangers of risky behaviors at the workplace that may lead to HIV/AIDS infection.

He also urged companies to set up a comprehensive HIV/AIDS policy and program that will deal with prevention and elimination of discrimination of persons with HIV/AIDS.

Figures from the Department of Health (DOH) indicated a steep increase in the number of reported HIV and AIDS cases in the 25-34 year-age group.

Republic Act 8504 also includes provisions that require HIV/AIDS education programs to be given in all government and private offices and in communities.


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