Trying to create an HIV management system? Take a leaf out of Eskom’s book

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 21 Nov. 2014

Tags: hiv in the workplace, hiv at work, hiv management system, preventing hiv at work, hiv prevention, hiv training, hiv management

According to, 14% of employees national wide in South Africa are HIV+. This means at least one sixth of your employees could be HIV+.

When you consider this, you can imagine how high your company’s HIV infection risk is and why you need to manage it’s risk to keep your employees safe. Doing this requires an HIV management system.

While setting one up may seem like a daunting task considering the nature of HIV, today we’ll show you how to do it effectively.

Eskom’s story can help you…

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Here’s what Eskom did to implement its HIV management system

Eskom’s HIV/AIDS management system focuses on education, observation and counselling. To create this, Eskom formed two committees to deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
- The strategic committee dealt with the impact of HIV/AIDS on Eskom and its employees to develop strategies to manage the effects. 
- The operational committee was in charge of education, awareness, care and support to infected and affected employees and families.
Together, these two committees formed Eskom’s HIV management system. In it, they included:
Self Awareness Programmes
This promoted voluntary counselling and testing. Eskom offered free, confidential HIV testing.
Education and Training
This training went beyond awareness. It focused on equipping employees with knowledge including human rights issues, legal issues and care for the HIV+ people and reducing HIV stigma.
Care and Support Facilities 
Eskom offers its employees a number of medical benefits including: 
- Psychological support; 
- Medical aid cover for ARV treatment; 
- Treatment for sexually transmitted infections; 
- TB treatment monitoring; 
- Free condoms; 
- Nutritional supplementation; and 
- Wellness programmes.
Measures To Deal With High Risk Areas 
Eskom looked at areas with high risks and took steps to work with employees and minimise the impact on the business. For example they addressed single sex accommodation and construction camps.
Policies and Practices
Eskom reviewed all its policies that HIV/AIDS may have impacted to ensure none of its business processes were open to discrimination.
Information Management
It created infrastructure for tracking trends in the organisation and for projecting the impact of HIV/AIDS including:
- Communication strategy; and
- Partnerships.
So what can you learn from Eskom’s approach to HIV management?
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Here’s how you can create an HIV management system just like Eskom’s

The first thing you need to do is identify and assess your company’s HIV risk. Eskom did this through its two committees. You can create a similar committee to determine the nature of your HIV risk and to come up with steps to manage it.
Then you need to ensure your management system covers some key points. Eskom’s management system’s key points are:
- Self awareness;
- Training;
- Care and support; and
- Policies.
These are the four fundamental points your HIV management system must have.
Following Eskom’s example will help you create an HIV management system that focuses of preventing the spread of HIV through education, preventative measures and communications. 
For everything you need to know about conducting effective HIV training, check out HIV – Training in a Box

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