HIV/AIDS Questions and Answers

All about HIV/AIDS in the Workplace, Workplace Policy on HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS and salaries and more on Mywage South Africa.

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How/where can I get tested for HIV?

Most public health facilities test for HIV. The test is free. To find the testing centre closest to you, SMS HIV and your postal code to 31771. Most private doctors also do HIV tests.

What does the process involve?

Before being tested, you will be counselled. You will also be counselled when the result comes back, irrespective of whether you are HIV positive or HIV negative. In most facilities two tests are done. It takes about 20 minutes to get the result. In some complicated cases, a sample of your blood might have to be sent to a laboratory. It will then take a few days to get your result back. HIV tests are very accurate.

I have been diagnosed with HIV. Do I have to tell my employer?

No. Legally, you do not have to disclose your status to your employer or fellow employees.

Who can I contact for advice? 

  • The AIDS Helpline: 0800 012 322.
  • HIV911 for HIV services in South Africa 
  • LifeLine: 0861 322 322.
  • The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) does not offer professional counselling, but they do their best to help. National office: 021 422 1700. They can direct you to an office in your region.

Will Medical Aid cover me?

Some medical aid facilities exclude all cover for HIV and AIDS related illnesses, others provide a limited cover, others provide hospital cover only and so on. A registered medical aid scheme may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against its members on the basis of their "state of health". But they can provide only limited benefits.

What about my Pension?

Pension and Provident funds should be investigated - some funds already provide facilities for early retirement based on ill health due to HIV and AIDS. Others make no provision at all, except for a simple ill-health retirement benefit.

How does this affect my access to Sick Leave?

If you are employed fulltime, you are entitled to your usual 30 or 36 working days leave, as listed in your employment contract. Check Annual Leave and Sick Leave in your contract.

However, an infected employee could use up their leave very quickly - possibly even within the first six months of the leave cycle.

Employers must decide how they are going to handle further sick leave requirement. One option is a Group Benefit Scheme, whereby say 75% of the employee's wages is paid for a further 12 or 24 months of the year once the statutory sick leave entitlement has been exhausted.

Employers could also consider allowing additional sick leave - for example, a certain number of days at 75% of wages, then a further allowance at 50% of wages, a final allowance at 25% of wages, after which the benefit falls away.

Read more

Find out more about HIV/AIDS and the Workplace.

Find out all about state Minimum Wages for all official sectors.

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