Significant challenges continue to confront African Member States in the bid to achieve the objectives of the “Abuja Call” and the MDGs by 2015. By that year, the ILO intends to show evidence of a substantial reduction in new HIV infections and an increased level of resilience to HIV and AIDS among vulnerable men and women workers and their families.
This will be achieved through enhancing HIV prevention, reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and increasing access to social protection services while systematically promoting and mainstreaming gender equality.
In June 2013, the ILO and UNAIDS launched an initiative to reach 5 million workers with Voluntary and confidential HIV Counseling and Testing (VCT@WORK) by 2015. The initiative will ensure that people who test positive are referred to HIV services for care and support, and treatment if needed.
The Phase 1 of the VCT@WORK Initiative is to be implemented between June and December 2013 with a focus on Brazil, Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria, host country of the Summit.
Facts and figures
- Between 2005 and 2013, the ILO has mobilized a total of 42.5 million US dollars to implement HIV/AIDS programmes in Africa.
- ILO projects have been implemented in 23 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching women and men workers, their families and communities and employers, through more than 1,400 partner workplaces.
- A total of 26 countries in Africa now include the world of work in their National AIDS Strategies.
- In Africa, 170 labour judges and magistrates have been trained on HIV and AIDS-related issues, focusing on employment discrimination. This training has led to the development and adoption of national jurisprudence and legislative and policy frameworks that are aligned with Recommendation No 200 and prohibit stigma and discrimination at work.
- Over 300 factory and labour inspectors in Africa have also been trained to integrate HIV and AIDS into their regulatory functions and advisory services.
- The ILO’s focus is on generating evidence to close the existing knowledge gap and provide its constituents with a range of proven interventions to scale up programmes that reduce new HIV infections and increase workers’ access to HIV services.
- This aim is also in line with the African Union’s objective which is to further expand country ownership and support mutual accountability. The AU launched last year a roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. The roadmap charts a course for more diversified, balanced and sustainable financing for the AIDS response by 2015 and demonstrates Africa’s new leadership and voice in the global AIDS architecture.
- The new ILO strategy will broaden actions to address HIV through national safety and health systems, labour inspection, working conditions and social security. The strategy will place an increased focus on women and girls, young people and workers in the informal economy. It will target the transport, mining, commerce and tourism sectors, SMEs and cooperatives.
- Of the global total of 34 million women and men living with HIV today, the vast majority—an estimated 23.5 million or 69 %—live in Sub-Saharan Africa.