Rules needed to stop discrimination against workers with HIV, says Kula

Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran.

KUALA LUMPUR: Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran today mooted regulations to prevent workplace discrimination against individuals with HIV/AIDS.

He said despite the drop in HIV-related deaths and improvements in treatment and quality of life, workers affected with the virus still faced discrimination at work or when seeking employment.

“It is very important to initiate plans to mitigate these problems at the workplace so that such discrimination will be eliminated,” he told reporters in a press conference at an event by the Asean Business Coalition on HIV-AIDS.

Currently, he said, employers do not require HIV screening for prospective workers.

“It is only a problem when the employer comes to know about a worker’s HIV status in the process of employment.”

He added that his ministry was discussing the implementation of regulations or laws prohibiting discrimination against employees with the virus.

Such laws are already in place in other countries in Asean such as the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

At the event today, Petronas together with six other companies were awarded the Asean Red Ribbon for Outstanding Work award for their initiatives to prevent and control discrimination against employees with HIV/AIDS.

The objective of the award is to encourage greater participation by employers from Asean member states in the control and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and to overcome the discrimination faced by affected individuals.