Train the Trainer Programme on HIV Prevention at
Call to take up HIV education as an important workplace issue
More companies must take up HIV education as an important workplace
issue and strive to reach all employees and their families and also
adopt policies that would ensure non-discrimination of positive persons
and protect their employment rights, said Dr Indira Hettiarachchi,
National Project Coordinator (HIV Workplace Education and Prevention) of
the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Dr Hettiarachchi was speaking at the Train the Trainer Programme on
HIV Prevention at the workplace conducted by ILO and the Employers'
Federation (EFC). The two day programme was held in Colombo recently.
Representatives from MAS Holdings, John Keells Holdings, Aitken Spence
PLC, Hatton National Bank, Cargills Ceylon PLC and Ceylon Tea Services
PLC (Dilma) attended the programme.
The latest batch of 26 trainers joined over 200 trainers trained by
the ILO and the EFC since the commencement of the ILO HIV/AIDS Workplace
Education and Prevention Programme in 2004.
Dr Hettiarachchi commended the initiative "considering the fact that
Sri Lanka has a low HIV prevalence, with the ILO's technical support the
EFC has effectively mobilised the private sector to conduct HIV
prevention programmes in workplaces thus making a praiseworthy
contribution to the national response."
Although Sri Lanka is fortunate in that it has remained a
low-prevalence country in terms of HIV infection rates, 30-40 new
infections are now reported quarterly, according to data compiled by the
national STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP).
Recognising the need for multi-stakeholder interventions in the
prevention efforts, several Sri Lankan businesses have taken the
initiative to commence workplace education programmes on the prevention
of HIV for their employees.