2019 NCST HIV Workshop

In line with the HIV/AIDS workplace policy, every year National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) holds HIV/AIDS awareness workshops for its staff members. This year, NCST collaborated with Lighthouse Trust in organising the training themed “You don’t have to be positive to think positive.”

HIVHeld on the 14th June 2019, at Blue Zebra in Salima, the lively workshop aimed at improving awareness of employees in matters regarding HIV/AIDS, its impact, management and availability of support systems. The workshop brought together personnel in a relaxed environment so as to freely discuss matters pertaining to HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is one of the major challenges to development worldwide. Actions taken by employers have great impact in the labour force and in the fight to mitigate impact of the disease. Benefits and programs included in the policy play an important role in ensuring that the dignity of colleagues infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS is preserved as they help them maintain normal and productive lives in the workplace.

Some of the issues that were discussed include; basics of HIV and healthy living, reducing stigma and discrimination in the workplace, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), ARVs, knowing your status (early testing), and lifestyle changes that will thereby reduce and prevent further infection.

Participants were also sensitised on the importance of physical exercise. There was a fitness session in which the staff participated in different sporting activities (Volleyball, Chess, tug of war, playing cards) and aerobics. Physical activity plays an important role in employees’ health, well-being and quality of life as healthy employees are more productive and require less sick leave.