Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Be the first to throw the stone

I know many people would appreciate the mystery surrounding the AIDS pandemic as being one hounded with secrecy, prejudice, stigma. Persons who either don’t understand that the disease is incommunicable and/or fail to appreciate that it’s passed from humans to humans . Some people have taken it upon themselves to treat victims of the disease with a lot of disdain much to my chagrin, you might wonder what I mean.

A friend of mine recently got a job with a local company which I consider to be quite respectable. My quarrel with them was that before the confirmation of the offer, a medical examination has to be carried out and sent to the employer directly without having showed the results to their hopeful employee, now the question that begs for an answer is that who gives a future employer legitimacy to know what my medical status is. So if it is positive what is the worst they would do? Give me a job and monitor for every cough or rash and proceed to fire me on medical grounds? This is what I call violation of privacy at its best.

I frown upon practices that are meant to dehumanize the person and worse still a person is left with no option but to undertake the job (remember the rate of unemployment).It is as if you as an employer are immunized against the disease. Everybody should remember all persons can contact HIV,,,,

This is the Government policy on HIV Public Sector policy


  1. Let me be the first to jump in here and say Happy New Year. Well, good Post and real topical.

    Will keep it here..

  2. This sure is a sensitive thing. The employer is trying to protect his/her interests by hiring the person who shall be most productive to give them a return for the money they will pay him. I guess that is the reason why they make the potential employee go for the test.

    But this business of seeing the test results without informing the person concerned is not ethical at all and should be enforced so that people do not feel pressurised to have the test done anyway.

    As for prejudice I have seen men and women who know better refuse to shake hands with a person who is HIV positive for the sole reason that they have the virus, and going as far as washing the utentils he used with hot water so as to protect selves from contamination. The education campaign that was started by GoK has done well but it needs to do much more so that people stop treating HIV and AIDS like a secret under wraps especially among family members.
    Unfortunately it is still treated as a "dirty" disease associated with promiscuity .
    Sorry am bloggin here shall stop.

  3. pre-employment HIV testing is a violation of one's right to privacy. Just like companies that discriminate against preganant applicants!

    Productivity in the workplace at the end of the day has as much to do with my health, as knowing that I can afford to treat ailments and illnesses if they occur because of a friendly workplace health policy. In my opinion (no stats at hand to prove this yet) it is cheaper in the long term to keep employees alive, than waste thousands of Kshs. on rehiring (including sifting to HIV-ve individuals - the cost of it...), retraining, rebuilding institutional memories with new employees etc. etc.

    Someone I know was denied employment by a leading hotelier, due to her HIV +ve status - today she is a well-traveled, credible HIV/AIDS advocate. Imagine if her PR, knowledge and skills were applied by this hotel? They would be a chain. . .

    PS: thanks for the useful resource

  4. the first step to addressing this iisue is to name the company shiro

  5. @bj,happy New year to you
    @Prous,i agree totally with you,it is a breach of privacy
    @afrom, nowadays it is very hard for them to deny you a job, but they will fire you soon enough
    @anon,you anon,so...

  6. Shiroh this case is very common here in Kenya. I have a friend who was denied job because he his +ve and now he is very stressed and jobless still.
    A sad thing indeed..

    Happy New Year

  7. What happened to the rumor floating around that a good percentage of our venerable waheshimiwa were poz?

    It seems it disappeared.

    Do you know if there's pending legislation on protecting poz people's rights? You know, somewhere in that affirmative action bill that we've never heard about?

    Memory fails, but I'm almost certain Kenya signed an international treaty that prohibits discrimination based on hiv status. It was in the news sometime in the last two years or so.

  8. I dont see why that should ever matter unless it to do with health insurance...So if ur postive what does that mean? that u wont have an accident the followin day? or die froma gunshot?...

  9. There is a case pending in court against Home Park Restaurant. the lady was dismissed on the basis of a medical examination done on her while undergoing treatment.She was never shown the report and her consent was not sought before the xmination. I pray to God she wins the case.