Trade Unions and HIV/AIDS

Sustainable livelyhoods: New ILO Report on access to and effects of social protection on workers living with HIV

New ILO study shows that social protection plays a key role in helping people living with HIV to keep their jobs and follow treatment.

Thereport is based on research covering four countries (Guatemala, Indonesia, Rwanda and Ukraine), all on the UNAIDS list of high HIV impact countries and currently developing or scaling up their social security systems.

The study shows that in the four countries, between 63 and 95 per cent of people living with HIV who had access to social protection were able to keep their jobs or some form of productive activities. At the same time, 49 to 99 per cent reported that their children remained in school and 72 to 96 per cent were able to access life-saving anti-retroviral treatments.

The report also refers to the issue that stigma and discrimination associated with HIV still persists. Workers in the informal economy, particularly women and key populations - face greater challenges.

The ILO research suggests that a combination of income, livelihood and employment support is needed, in addition to health services, to further increase the impact of social protection.

The ILO Recommendation concerning HIV and AIDS and the world of work 2010 (No. 200) provides guidance on how countries can address HIV and AIDS-related issues in the world of work by making them part of national development policies and programmes, including those related to labour, education, social protection and health.

The ILO Social Protection Floor Recommendation (No. 202) calls for progressive realization of social protection coverage, following the principles of universality of coverage, non-discrimination and gender equality.