HIV/AIDS Discrimination in Workplace Widespread in Vietnam, ILO Study Says
December 18, 2003
HIV/AIDS discrimination in the workplace is widespread in Vietnam, causing some HIV-positive employees to be ostracized by colleagues and other individuals to be fired or refused jobs, according to a study by the International Labour Organization, the AP/Kansas City Star reports (AP/Kansas City Star, 12/16). ILO presented the survey of 200 factory workers on Tuesday at a workshop on HIV/AIDS discrimination in Hanoi. The study showed that 70% of the workers surveyed believe their company should not hire HIV-positive individuals, and 62.5% of the workers thought that HIV-positive colleagues should be isolated in separate work spaces (Agence France-Presse, 12/16). The study also found that 83% of the workers believe that HIV testing should be mandatory for job applicants and one-third believe that HIV-positive workers should be fired, according to the AP/Star. In addition, 88% of the workers believe that HIV/AIDS is a result of "social evils" such as prostitution and injection drug use, the AP/Star reports. "HIV is becoming a young person's disease in Vietnam," Jordan Ryan, country representative of the United Nations Development Programme, said, adding that 64% of new HIV infections occur among people ages 15-29. ILO Country Director Rose Marie Greve said, "Stigma and discrimination is in fact a reality at workplaces," adding, "More importantly, and very sadly, it is often based on misinformation." Greve said that Vietnam currently has no anti-discrimination laws dealing with HIV/AIDS, which could be causing companies to lose skilled workers, according to the AP/Star. Greve said that retaining HIV-positive workers is "simply good business" (AP/Kansas City Star, 12/16).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.