The Swedish Workplace HIV/AIDS Programme
The International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR) and the Swedish Industrial and Metalworkers’ Union (IF Metall) have jointly decided to initiate and implement a long-term strategy to contribute to the establishment and/or support of HIV and AIDS programmes at Swedish related workplaces in Sub-Saharan Africa. SWHAP presently operates in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is co-financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida.
Why the Workplace?
The HIV and AIDS pandemic has dreadful humanitarian consequences as well as enormous effects on households, businesses and societies at large. There is no doubt that everyone must contribute to the prevention of further spread of HIV and to alleviate the effects of the ongoing pandemic. The workplace is an ideal arena to address the causes and implications of HIV and AIDS. We spend a lot of time at work and attitude formation and behaviour change are greatly connected to working life and work culture. Consequently, the business world and the labour unions have a golden opportunity to play an important role in the endeavour to limit the repercussions of the devastating disease and to develop tools for combating its effects.
The practical implementation process of SWHAP by definition takes place at the workplace itself. A key element for success is that the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes are the joint responsibility of management and employees. This is done through workplace committees that plan and implement activities such as voluntary counselling and testing, peer education training, management sensitization, condom distribution, couple counselling, care and treatment.
The Overall Development Objective of SWHAP
The Project Objectives have resulted in that:
- Workplace programmes have been initiated and improved in an expanded number of companies.
- Extensive experiences from SWHAP workplace programmes and from a broadening network of shared practice have been documented and used by other actors.
- SWHAP has influenced the global HIV and AIDS Workplace arena by sharing experience and information in a variety of contexts.
The expected Outcomes of the project 2009-2012 are that:
- Effective workplace programmes are impeding the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide good treatment and care at partner companies regionally in Africa.
- Partner companies consider HIV/AIDS a strategically important issue and manage effective and sustainable programmes.
- Processes and systems have been designed and implanted for systematic learning from experience.
- An increased number of companies consider HIV and Aids a strategically important issue.
- SWHAP Companies are in the forefront of new initiatives and developments regarding HIV/AIDS workplace responses.