Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Employees of the SA Post Office (Sapo) who are HIV-positive are not alone. That is the message from Humaira Choonara, group executive in charge of human resources.
This year, World Aids Day, within Sapo marks the launch of HIV support groups. These support groups will serve as a forum of mutual support and encouragement and will play an advocacy role for employees living with HIV-Aids.
The support groups will be known as Ngatana, a Tswana word that indicates collectivism.
These support groups will be led, directed and limited to employees living openly with HIV-Aids. All support group proceedings will be treated with the utmost privacy and confidentiality.
Support groups will not only serve as an opportunity for employees living with HIV-Aids to share experiences and learn from each other, but also as a platform to contribute to official policies and procedures regarding HIV-Aids management within Sapo.
The support groups will also strive to create a discrimination-free working environment.
During 2006, Sapo embarked on a "know your status" campaign to encourage employees to undergo voluntary counselling and testing for HIV-Aids.
"When a significant number of employees are HIV-positive, absenteeism becomes an important factor and overall business output is compromised.
"Employees who know their status can take the necessary steps to ensure they enjoy good health for a long time. This enables them to live a dignified and productive life," Choonara said.