HIV/AIDS In The Workplace And Pay Systems

Question 1

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infections along with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) are a range of conditions brought about by the HIV infection. After the initial infection, individuals experience an illness whose symptoms are comparable to those of influenza. The late stage of the infection is typified by conditions that are collectively referred to as AIDS.

A person’s immune system works by recognizing antigens released by invading entities like bacteria. His or her body uses different strategies to eliminate the antigens. The antigens are delivered to the person’s lymph system for ingestion by macrophages. The person’s B-cells produce particular antibodies that make the antigens coagulate when they come into contact with them (Kirch, 2008). After the antigens have been cleared, T-cells signal the B-cells to rest, ensuring the person’s immune response does not suffer prolonged activation, which causes damage to cells that are healthy. HIV interferes with the functioning of the T-cells, causing the damage continually (Kirch, 2008; Krämer, Kretzschmar & Krickeberg, 2010).

The window period is as well as known as the clinical latency phase of HIV. During the period, HIV is present and developing in a person’s body fluids. Even then, the HIV infection in the period does not generate symptoms.

When one infected by HIV, he or she becomes highly susceptible to opportunistic infections. The infections impact on the functioning of almost all organ systems adversely. For instance, opportunistic infections of the digestive system compromise its functioning increasingly.

The illness progresses in three distinct phases. The first one is the acute infection phase that occurs within between two to four weeks following HIV infection. During the phase, the body responds to the infection naturally and aggressively. The symptoms associated with the phase include headaches, sore throat, pains, swollen glands, fever, joint aches, muscle aches, rash, and fatigue. The second phase is the clinical latency phase.

When one is infected by the virus, he can survive for three years on average without taking antiretroviral medications. As yet, there is not effective cure or vaccine against the virus. There are various HIV transmission pathways. Often, the transmission occurs via having unprotected sex with HIV-infected individuals. The transmission as well happens via the exchange of body fluids with HIV-infected individuals through needle-stick form of injuries, intravenous usage of drugs, organ donations, blood transfusion involving HIV-contaminated products, and use of contaminated equipment in executing medical injections. An HIV-infected mother can pass the virus to her unborn child when pregnant or during breastfeeding (Hicks, 2001).

HIV/AIDS has a close relationship with human conduct. Notably, the most common way via which the virus is spread, as well as contracted, is via unprotected sex with persons who are already infected with the virus. That means that individuals who engage in indiscriminate sexual acts with multiple partners are at an elevated risk of spreading, as well as contracting, the virus. The threat of becoming infected with the virus can be markedly reduced by having a single, faithful sex partner, and using condoms when engaging in sexual acts.

Notably, engaging in indiscriminate sexual acts with multiple partners is a high-risk behavior as regards HIV infection. The intravenous usage of drugs is as well is a high-risk behavior as regards HIV infection. The use of contaminated equipment in executing medical injections is a low-risk behavior regarding the infection. As well, the giving of blood transfusion services using HIV-contaminated products is a low-risk behavior regarding the infection.

In the workplace, HIV transmission may occur when employees have unprotected sex. For instance, if an employee has sex with an HIV-infected colleague, there is a high likelihood that he or she will become infected as well. The transmission may as well happen via the exchange of body fluids like blood with HIV-infected individuals. The fluids can be exchanged via the needle-stick form of injuries and intravenous usage of drugs. The transmission may as well happen if HIV-infected employees donate blood, which is eventually used on their colleagues during surgical processes. Lastly, in the healthcare facilities within particular workplaces, the transmission may happen via the usage of HIV-contaminated equipment in executing medical injections on staff.

In any given workplace, there are common fears, as well as misunderstandings, which are untrue, regarding HIV/AIDS. First, there is a common misunderstanding that HIV/AIDS has no impact on commercial establishments. It is a fact that HIV/AIDS affects the establishments by decimating their workforces and lessening demand for their products. The establishments incur indirect costs relating to increased staff absenteeism and reduced staff productivity. Second, some managers of particular workplaces think that they can dismiss employees who are HIV-positive devoid of consequences. Even then, employees are protected from dismissals that are based on discriminative considerations by the Employment Equity Act.

Third, there is a common misconception that employees can contract the virus by working with other employees who are infected with the virus. Even then, the fact is that individuals cannot transmit the virus to others by having even a rather close contact with them. Fourth, many employees who are diagnosed to be HIV-positive think that they ought to commence searching for own replacements right away. Even then, those who are HIV-positive can live for many decades if they lead healthy lifestyles and take antiretroviral drugs as prescribed.Bottom of Form

 

According to AIDS Foundation of South Africa (2015), in the Republic of South Africa, HIV/AIDS is a pronounced health concern. The country has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence worldwide. The number of persons infected with HIV in the country is 5.6 million. In 2011, the country registered 270,000 deaths related to HIV/AIDS complications. In the country, women are at higher risk of being infected with the virus. For every two South African men who have the virus, there are three women having the virus. Even then, the country has made considerable progress in the management of the HIV/AIDS crisis from 2008. While the country registered 270,000 deaths related to HIV/AIDS complications in 2011, the related figure in 2005 was 370,000.  The progress is attributed to the increasing number of persons taking antiretroviral drugs in the country (AIDS Foundation of South Africa, 2015).

The information provided by AIDS Foundation of South Africa (2015) shows that the prevalence can be reduced further by sustaining the efforts geared towards putting more and more persons having the virus on the drugs. As well, the information indicates that in the coming days, the prominence of HIV/AIDS as a leading health concern in the country will reduce. One can conclude from the information that, presently, the country’s economy is markedly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic within its borders.

The information provided above demonstrates that HIV/AIDS impacts on organizations significantly.  It affects organizations by decimating their workforces and lessening demand for their products, reducing their sales. Organizations incur indirect costs relating to increased staff absenteeism and reduced staff productivity when their employees are infected with HIV. Those infected with the virus suffer poor health over time. Their capability to work is constrained increasingly.

Proactive Employer

Proposed HIV/AIDS Policy for the Organization

  • The organization shall encourage confidential, routine, as well as voluntary, testing along with counseling as a core element of its HIV/AIDS awareness and education programs. HIV/AIDS shall be managed confidentially as a health condition as provided in the applicable laws.
  • The organization shall provide its stakeholders with workplaces that shall protect their safety and health through appropriate education, training, and awareness on the utilization of particular measures for controlling infections.
  • The organization shall train its managers, as well as supervisors, to ensure that all its stakeholders adhere to this policy. The supervisors and manager shall be trained to make proper and accurate communications regarding the policy and the attendant benefits and programs.
  • The organization shall facilitate all its employees diagnosed with HIV to access the requisite treatment as well as care.
  • The organization’s HIV/AIDS-related programs shall be tailor-made to ensure compliance with all the applicable laws.
  • The organization shall facilitate all those charged with this policy’s implementation to get the requisite training.

Problems that Employees with HIV/AIDS May Face at Their Workplaces

Employees who are HIV-positive may become victims of discriminative practices at own workplaces.  Their employers may consider dismissing them on account of their deteriorating health. Their privacy may be compromised by being tested for HIV publicly by their employers. They may be working in environments in which their safety and health are not adequately protected through appropriate education, training, and awareness on the utilization of particular measures for controlling infections.

Suggestions for Resolving the Problems

  • The organization should develop and enforce punitive measures for dealing with stakeholders who discriminate against specific employees on account of their health statuses.
  • The organization should develop and enforce punitive measures against stakeholders who breach the privacy rights of specific employees on account of their health statuses.
  • The organization should invest in ensuring that all its employees work in environments in which their safety and health are adequately protected.
  • The organization should afford its stakeholders appropriate education and training on the rights those infected with the virus.

Proposed Wellness and Prevention Programs

  • The organization should put in a place a voluntary program for testing employees for HIV and counseling them appropriately.
  • It should institute a program that brings the employees infected with the virus into structured support groups.
  • It should develop, as well as implement, a program aimed at ensuring that employees have continuous access to HIV/AIDS treatment as well as care.

Universal Precautions That Should Be Followed

The organization should make certain that its workplaces are free of discriminative practices. The workplaces should be structured in ways that safeguard employees’ privacy regarding their health statuses. As well, the workplaces should remain safe for all employees always.

Pre-Test and Post-Test Counseling

            The organization should provide for the counseling of employees before, as well as after, being tested for the virus. The counseling of employees before taking the test will enable them make knowledgeable decisions regarding whether or not to undergo the test. Their counseling after the test will assist those diagnosed with the virus to live, as well as cope, positively.

HIV/AIDS leads to the decimation of a state’s population. The reduced population means that employers have access to shrinking pools of available labor. HIV/AIDS compromises people’s capacity to work effectively, reducing their productivity at work and their employers’ profits eventually. The compromised capacity affects a state’s economy negatively owing to reduced productivity in the industries. Employers who provide their employees with medical commit more resources to them when they contract HIV/AIDS since it is a chronic health condition. States spend more and more resources in ensuring that they have healthy populations, especially when they suffer HIV/AIDS pandemics. The pandemics reduce the number of persons who can be engaged by industries as workers. Most of those having the virus fall out of employment eventually, losing the income they use in supporting their families.

Question 2

The First National Bank of South Africa utilizes a Time-Rate Payment System. The information that is captured by the and staff tax obligations. Others are the compensations advanced to staff within the time, and the corresponding pay. This information has been inferred from a table provided by PayScale (2015).

The information is keyed into the bank’s HRIS. Notably, the bank has a custom-made and effective HRIS. The information is keyed into the system by staff in the bank’s HR Coordinator office.

The information was appraised to establish its correctness. The information was verified by placing a telephone call to the bank. As well, it was verified via the study of pertinent literature.

In the bank, individual employees and specific employee teams are only allowed access to particular resources. The resources include employee payment data. They can only access the resources that have been particularly configured for them. Employees and specific employee teams can only access resources for which they lack conflicting responsibilities. As well, employees and specific employee teams are only allowed to access specific resources that they totally need to execute assigned duties.

Whenever the information is required, it is retrieved by those having the requisite authorizations and privileges to access it. They download the information from the bank’s IT resources after authenticating their identities, authorizations, and privileges using their unique passwords and user IDs.

Those retrieving the information generate various reports. They distribute the reports to particular people with the appropriate identities, authorizations, and privileges. Those getting the reports are those who totally need them to execute assigned duties.

The bank trains its employees who are authorized to use its HRIS on how to utilize it. The bank collaborates with the HRIS’ supplier to develop the curricula that the employees are taken through over specified time. Notably, diverse users are trained to use different components of the HRIS. The components include HR Factors, Payroll Factors, and Popular Modules such as those used for hiring like applicant and resume management, and organizational charts.

The system is capable of holding lasting, valuable information in its memory components. Records of the information are set up and saved in the memory components by those having the requisite authorizations and privileges. The records are deleted at the appropriate times by those having the requisite authorizations and privileges. When one leaves the organization, is promoted or changes roles, the record access authorizations and privileges that he or she has are deleted and new ones issued accordingly.

The bank’s record-keeping policy is that individual employees and specific employee teams are only allowed access to particular records. They can only access the records that have been particularly configured for them. They can only access records for which they lack conflicting responsibilities. As well, they are only allowed to access specific records that they totally need to execute assigned duties.

2.3.

First, I would establish whether the manager is allowed access to the information. Second, I would configure the information for him or her if he is allowed the access. Third, I would customize the information to ensure that he only gets the sections that he or she totally needs to execute assigned duties. Fourth, I would confirm that the account he or she intends to use to access the information is properly defined. Fifth, I would monitor the usage of the corresponding administrator accounts for unauthorized activities. Sixth, I would ensure that the managers adhere to the defined access criteria. Seventh, I would disable unneeded system ports, services, and features. Eighth,I would enforce the rotation of the applicable passwords. Lastly, I would audit the system periodically.

 

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