“Myths and misconceptions” astir HIV and AIDS proceed to fuel stigma and favoritism successful the workplace, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Tuesday. 

Despite some improvement successful people’s tolerance to the disease in the much than 40 years since the AIDS epidemic began, a survey of 55,000 radical successful 50 countries recovered that lone 1 successful 2 radical knew that HIV cannot beryllium transmitted by sharing a bathroom. 

“It is shocking that, 40 years into the HIV and AIDS epidemic, myths and misconceptions are inactive truthful widespread,” said Chidi King, caput of ILO’s Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Branch. 

Wake-up call 

A deficiency of basal facts astir however HIV is transmitted is fuelling stigma and discrimination. This survey is simply a wake-up telephone to reinvigorate HIV prevention and acquisition programmes; the satellite of enactment has a cardinal relation to play.” 

Stigma and favoritism successful the workplace marginalize people, pushing those with HIV into poverty, Ms. King maintained. 

Working with opinion canvass company Gallup, the ILO Global HIV Discrimination successful the World of Work Survey reveals that discriminatory attitudes are fuelled by a deficiency of cognition astir HIV transmission. 

At the extremity of 2020, astir 38 cardinal radical globally were surviving with HIV, with 1.5 cardinal recently infected that year, and astir 680,000 radical dying from AIDS- related illnesses, according to the survey. Despite advancement made on combating stigma, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation. 

Care burdens 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has surely pushed backmost immoderate of the efforts, immoderate of the advancement that had been made towards eradicating HIV, and determination is an adjacent much urgent request present to treble those efforts,” Ms. King said. 

“In presumption of the interaction connected radical affected by HIV, not lone radical surviving with HIV but radical who whitethorn beryllium looking aft idiosyncratic with HIV…care burdens person accrued during the pandemic owed to the non-availability of definite services, truthful seeing a disproportionate interaction successful narration to women successful particular, and successful immoderate instances, girls arsenic well." 

Asia and Pacific successful spotlight 

The survey noted that the lowest tolerance for moving straight with radical with HIV was recovered successful Asia and the Pacific, followed by the Middle East and North Africa. 

The regions with the astir affirmative attitudes were Eastern and Southern Africa, wherever astir 90 per cent of respondents said they would beryllium comfortable working straight with radical with HIV. 

Higher acquisition levels were besides associated with affirmative attitudes towards moving with those surviving with HIV

The study besides offered a fig of recommendations, including implementation of HIV programmes to summation consciousness of modes of transmission and to improving the ineligible and argumentation situation astir HIV to support rights of workers. 

“The workplace has a cardinal relation successful this education,” Ms. King told journalists successful Geneva. “Workers and employers surely person a relation to play. Social dialog is simply a cardinal mechanics done which they tin trade policies and materials and products in bid to raise awareness, ensuring that recruitment policies bash not discriminate against radical with HIV/AIDS. Governments besides person a relation to play successful presumption of broader engagement.” 

Confronting inequalities and ending favoritism is captious to ending AIDS, the study said, peculiarly during the ongoing COVID pandemic.