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Why so many companys do not have AIDS education in the workplace
Jun 9, 1997

Why are companies so slow in providing AIDS education to employees?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Now, the only people who can really answer that question are the decision-makers at the companies that do not provide workplace AIDS education, aren't they? Anything we would suggest is speculation. Here are some of the objections I've heard:

We do so much training, we can't find time to fit it in. We have an employee who has HIV, and we don't want to draw attention to him. (This assumes that he isn't already the focus of rumor and attention, probably a false assumption. The training could focus that energy on the issues instead of the person.) Nobody here has HIV. This is a very conservative company. (I'm always tempted to ask,"Just what are you conserving?")

In my 11 years of providing workplace HIV education, I've learned that "the company's" attitude toward training and toward an employee who has HIV is really the attitude of the two or three senior decision-makers, and that attitude may not reflect the priorities of the human resources director, the supervisors or the workforce itself.

I've also learned that one employee who sees the need for this can become the spark plug for the entire work group and can mount a successful grassroots campaign to lobby for workplace HIV education. Are you one of those people?

- Nancy Breuer



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