Thailand: No Promotion for HIV/AIDS Workers -- Study
November 19, 2009
Thai employers' attitudes toward workers with HIV/AIDS have improved in the past decade, a new study suggests. However, these employees still remain less likely to be promoted.
"Employers reason that if an employee living with HIV/AIDS is promoted, they have to shoulder more responsibilities and this could cause their health to deteriorate," said Dr. Busaya Virakul, an associate professor and a researcher at the National Institute of Development Administration. She conducted the study and presented its findings recently during a media training organized by the Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS.
Busaya said her survey of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand found that the proportion of businesses with a policy on HIV/AIDS in the workplace rose from 6.7 percent in 1997 to 11 percent in 2008.
It was commonplace 10 years ago, Busaya said, for employers to require applicants to answer health questions and undergo a blood test. Many businesses rejected candidates living with HIV.
Now, Busaya said, most companies view HIV infection as a private matter, and they provide positive workers with the same welfare and medical benefits afforded those with cancer or heart disease.
The Health Ministry projects that more than 11,750 Thais will become infected with HIV this year. Of the estimated 1 million residents believed to have contracted HIV, 550,000 are still living.
The Nation (Bangkok)
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.