ILO collaborates with two Indonesian State-Owned Companies on HIV self-screening

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To scale up the access on HIV prevention, testing and treatment in Indonesia, the ILO is going to collaborate with two state-owned companies on HIV self-screening (HIVSS) programme. PT Pertamina (Persero), an oil and gas company and PT Waskita Karya (Persero), a construction company. These two companies are known for their non-discriminatory policy and their commitment to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS at the workplace.

The implementation of the HIV self-screening is based on the ILO-WHO Joint Guideline on HIVST at workplace. The guideline, developed in 2018 aims to increase HIV awareness and scale up the strategy at workplace that makes HIV testing services more accessible and appealing to those in need. To date, 59 countries have adopted HIVST policies and many others are developing them.

Early D. Nuriana, ILO’s programme officer for HIV/AIDS, stated that the ILO at the global level has collaborated with WHO and Unitaid-PSI under the STAR III initiative to implement HIVST in Africa, such as Kenya and Zambia. “We hope to extend our programme to Indonesia, following the strong collaboration between the Ministry of Health and STAR III Project which has developed a Technical Guideline on HIVSS,” she explained said during the Executive Brief Meeting with the two companies on 8 September.

The pilot HIVSS programme at these two companies is being conducted for four months from September to December 2021 under the assistance of the ILO’s partner, Kusuma Buana Foundation, a non-governmental organization deals with HIV prevention in the world of work.

For this programme, the ILO provides 5,000 HIVSS tools for the two companies. The ILO also provides technical assistances for the companies to adapt the Guidelines from the Ministry of Health as well as the ILO/WHO into companies’ policies and programmes as well as supports the implementation of HIVSS and assists in the coordination with Ministry of Health for referral services.

Meanwhile, the companies are obliged to formulate relevant policies and integrate the HIVSS into existing companies’ occupational safety and health (OSH) mechanisms, raise the employees’ awareness about HIVSS and provide relevant trainings.

“The ILO’s HIVSS uses an Oral Fluid Test method. This a practical, simple method that can easily be done by the workers themselves,” added Early. She also hoped the HIVSS would inspire more companies to implement HIV prevention at workplaces and increase the uptake of HIV testing as it offers workers greater confidentiality and autonomy.

The Senior Vice President QHSE & System of PT Waskita Karya (Persero) Tbk, Subhan, positively welcome the collaboration on HIVST programme. He believed that this programme could effectively prevent HIV transmission at workplace. “The HIVSS is an effective programme for HIV prevention, especially in time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

A similar support was also given by the Senior Vice President HSSE of PT Pertamina (Persero) Tbk, Sahadi. “The HIVSS programme can contribute to HIV prevention at workplace. This is a good step towards the efforts to end AIDS by 2030.

Indonesia is categorized as low concentrated epidemic level among key population with the estimation of 543.000 people living with HIV. However, the 2020 data of the Ministry of Health showed that 68 percent of people living with HIV were from non- key population with the high prevalence among productive ages.

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