Care and HIV and AIDS

Even though anti-retroviral treatment for people living with HIV has expanded, nearly half of those living with HIV still don’t have access to this treatment. New HIV infections are declining, but not fast enough. Alarming increases have been seen in new HIV infections particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide among women between the ages of 30 and 49. Stigma and discrimination continue to be main barriers people living with HIV face in seeking healthcare, employment and other services.

While public health systems are struggling to keep people living with HIV on anti-retroviral treatment, opportunistic infections associated with HIV, including tuberculosis, are putting additional burden on inadequate health care systems in a number of countries. People living with HIV still need to be taken care of at home. Women and girls bear most of the burden of care given their traditional domestic and nurturing roles. This not only adds to their workload, it undermines the vital productive, reproductive and community roles they play. For instance, women may have to leave paid work or stop their education to care for sick relatives.

The HIV epidemic has become one of the most critical workplace issues of our time. In addition to its devastating impact on working women and men and their families and dependents, HIV affects the world of work in many ways. Stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS threatens fundamental rights at work, undermining opportunities for people to obtain decent work and sustainable employment.

In partnership with ILO constituents, UNAIDS and its cosponsors, donors, people living with HIV and other relevant actors, the ILO is working to strengthen the world of work response to HIV and AIDS with a view to protecting workers from HIV infection and facilitating their access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.