ILO, WHO To Develop Guidelines for Protecting Safety of Health Care Workers Involved in HIV/AIDS Fight
The International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization on Tuesday began a three-day meeting in Geneva to develop new guidelines aimed at protecting the safety of health care workers involved in fighting HIV/AIDS, Xinhuanet reports. The guidelines will offer specific ways to protect, train and educate health care workers and address issues such as testing, treatment, confidentiality, minimizing occupational risk and prevention. The guidelines also will cover the role of social dialogue, issues surrounding discrimination and stigma, and the provision of care and support for health care workers in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Xinhuanet reports (Xinhuanet, 4/19). The two organizations recently developed draft guidelines, which were circulated among member nations for comment, according to an ILO release. The meeting of experts from both organizations will discuss and adopt the joint guidelines and disseminate them in several languages, as well as come up with social dialogue activities and training programs to encourage their implementation (ILO release, 4/19). "In the world of work, clear guidelines are among the most effective way[s] to reduce the transmission of HIV and other bloodborne viruses and to improve the delivery of care to patients," Susan Maybud, an ILO health services specialist, said. In the absence of increased antiretroviral treatment, the world work force would lose about 28 million workers to HIV/AIDS-related causes by the end of 2005, about 48 million by the end of 2010 and about 74 million by the end of 2015, according to an ILO analysis (Xinhuanet, 4/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.