HIV/AIDS is regarded as a potential threat which can be managed and monitored with the appropriate leadership, strategic planning, implementation of cost-effective and sustainable measures, to manage the impacts on the organisation and its employees.
Activities and Accomplishments:
- Review of the Woolworths HIV/Aids strategy in line with the organisation's strategy.
- Woolworths has a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which encourages employees / people who are affected or infected by HIV to come forward for confidential counseling and support.
- All Woolworths employees have access to free treatment and care. The Clinical Management Program, (100% Company-funded) offers treatment and other benefits to the HIV-positive employees who do not qualify for membership
of the Wooltru Healthcare Fund. Those belonging to the Healthcare Fund can access treatment via the fund.
- Woolworths is currently launching a testing campaign in line with the Government's National HCT (HIV counseling and Testing) campaign. This includes a Wellness component. These tests include HIV, Diabetic, Cholesterol, Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure Screening).
- HIV/Aids awareness within stores and Head Office continues, and some individual stores have their own HIV awareness committees that arrange HIV/Aids-related awareness activities. This will be reinforced by the
one-on-one education that takes place with the HIV screening test.
- Woolworths also contributes to better management of issues such as HIV/Aids in the workplace in partnership with organisations such as the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids.
- Woolworths also supports national campaigns such as World Aids Day and the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for no Violence Against Women and Children, breast cancer and substance abuse awareness.
The challenges ahead
- Encouraging all employees to know their HIV status by taking part in the HCT Campaign;
- Encouraging employees to confidentially report cases to the Clinical Management Programme, Wooltru Healthcare Fund HIV Programme or Woolworths Health Services to ensure access to support and information;
- Planning for sustainable, cost-effective interventions into the organisation taking the following key factors into account:
- Put effective measures in place to reduce the financial impact of the HIV/Aids epidemic on the organisation
- Introduce cost-effective, sustainable interventions that support the organisational strategy.