Employment is crucial for successful HIV/AIDS treatment, says the ILO

December 4, 2013

The newest ILO study - The impact of Employment on HIV Treatment Adherence - reveals that People living with HIV who are employed are almost 40% more likely to stick to HIV treatment than those without a job. This is mainly because they have regular financial means to pay for related health services, medications and support, and to afford sufficient food. The report includes findings from low, middle and high-income countries in Africa, Asia and North America. It found that unemployment, particularly in low and middle-income countries, affects people's ability to afford treatment, which can lead to interruptions, low viral suppression and ultimately treatment failure. Joblessness may also result in depression, and in behaviours and situations that have been shown to be factors in non-adherence, including low self-care, substance abuse and homelessness. In some cases it could lead to criminal activity that results in imprisonment.

"While access to treatment has increased dramatically in recent years, ensuring that people living with HIV are able to keep to treatment regimens remains a challenge. It is clear from the report that employment, and the role of the workplace more broadly, are vital to meeting the goal of treatment for 15 million people living with HIV by 2015," said Alice Ou├ędraogo, Chief of ILOAIDS.