December 1st is World AIDS Day and marks the 33rd anniversary of the global HIV campaign. This is a global effort for organizations and individuals to unite in support of people with HIV/AIDS, lessen the stigma, and increase awareness that one can now live a productive life with HIV/AIDS. Forty years ago, an AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence. In 2021, however, you may be working alongside a colleague with HIV/AIDS, or who has a family member who is Positive and you may not even know it.
So, what are the benefits to an organization to acknowledge World AIDS Day? In the same way that businesses want to show solidarity with their employees about other health issues, World AIDS Day allows businesses to acknowledge that there still is not a cure for this global epidemic, and that colleagues are impacted by this daily, and they often do so in silence as they fear the stigma. Furthermore, acknowledging it in the workplace, allows employees to increase their awareness of safe practices to prevent HIV infection, especially when the company has a broad group of employees from different age groups. 90% of people infected are in their working years between 18 and 40 for women and 30 and 50 for men. It also educates colleagues that HIV/ AIDS is a pandemic that affects not only the LGBTQ+ community, but also heterosexual men and women, children, and people of color.
Ways to acknowledge World AIDS Day include:
- Provide information about HIV/AIDS in the workplace for employees to educate themselves.
- Provide information about confidential testing sites.
- Provide red ribbons for employees to wear to signify solidarity with colleagues who may be dealing with this directly or indirectly.
- As a group, attend events or earmark a fundraiser to support people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Have conversations that acknowledge that the company supports all employees regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or HIV/AIDS status.
If as a business you struggle with how to broach this sensitive but important topic, discuss opportunities with your HR team or consider asking for ideas or support from a company you partner with who celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion.
At Goodwin Recruiting, our team of recruiters live by our core value of Dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity, inclusion, and equity support applies to all candidates, including those working while managing illnesses. We are all there to help both candidates looking for work and clients looking for staff to have a safe space to find the best opportunities without judgment. Reach out today.