VCT Initiative for Trade Unions Organizations

An integrated HIV/AIDS prevention programme for the trade union is a basis to increase awareness among trade union organizations on the importance HIV/AIDS prevention at the workplace.

There were an estimated 613,435 persons living with HIV (PLHIV) in Indonesia in 2015. The national HIV prevalence rate was estimated at 0.3 % among people aged 15-49 years of age in 2015, while HIV prevalence by province range from 0.1% to over 2.0%. The numbers of PLHIV are highest in Jakarta and in the highly populated provinces of Java, as well as in Papua and West Papua. Although the transmission type driven in earlier years by needle sharing among People Who Inject Drugs (PWID), sexual transmission is now the primary mode of transmission of HIV. HIV projections indicate a modest but steady rise and more stable numbers about 49,000 new infections per year. (MoH - IBBS Report 2016, launched in 2017).

The ILO responds to the HIV epidemic by providing technical assistance and support through a range of workplace programs. Specifically to contribute concretely to UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets and more specifically to HIV testing in the world of work, the ILO, UNAIDS, the International Organization of employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) launched the VCT@work initiative at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2013. VCT @ work was launched because the workplace offer unique opportunities to reach women and men workers with HIV confidential and voluntary HIV counselling and testing services at the workplace.

In Indonesia, VCT @ work was launched by the Minister of Manpower and secretary of National Aids Commission on the world Aids Day Commemoration in 2013. The initiative has made notable progress in improving awareness of the workers, and private sectors, facilitating HIV counseling and testing and creating linkages with treatment and care and support for workers tested HIV positive. The campaign has reached more than 300,000 workers with HIV counselling and testing and referred those who are tested for early treatment and care. The effort on HIV workplace prevention program needs a continuous action to scale up more private sector involvement, early diagnose and treatment for workers living with HIV.

HIV is now treatable as people living with HIV can be staying healthy when HIV status is earlier known to get earlier access for treatment. However, stigma and discrimination among workers living with HIV is occurred due to limited knowledge on HIV prevention and treatment. Number of unreported cases of workers living with HIV who get fired by the company are actually exist, unfortunately the cases stay hidden because of the fear of HIV status disclosure and rejection among community.

Trade union organizations showed their willingness to improve the initiative on scaling up the HIV/AIDS prevention program to their members due to several cases occurred among worker living with HIV who get fired by the companies. Trade Union Organizations as a part of tripartite take a significant role in increasing the knowledge on HIV/AIDS among members by implementing HIV/AIDS prevention program to provide assistance of HIV prevention and a significant support on referral system of treatment.

An integrated program of HIV/AIDS prevention program into trade union is a basis to increase awareness among trade union organizations on HIV/AIDS prevention. However, prioritizing the most vulnerable sector is an important matter to reach out 4 M criteria (Mobile men with Money in Masculine Environment) to tackle HIV spread and reduce the number of new HIV infection. Seafarers and maritime sectors are categorized as the most vulnerable sectors and it follows by other sectors such as: constructions, mining, metal, agriculture, health, and tourism.

A significant action is needed to improve the capability of trade union organizations to educate HIV/AIDS prevention among members and provide assistance on referral system to access HIV treatment with respective members by linking to HIV service providers. A refresher training of trainer is essential to support a significant respond of trade union for their members.

ILO continues the support among 6 trade union organizations to conduct Refresher Training of HIV/AIDS for Trade Unions Organizations and VCT for trade union members. A strategic action plan on developing the HIV/AIDS prevention program and within the organization is expected through this training. As the continuation, the trade union organization will set up a VCT day for members their internal organization activities.