The Solidarity Center is at the forefront in partnering with unions, businesses, and governments to develop and lead worker- and workplace-focused HIV/AIDS programs worldwide.
All over the world, workers in the prime of their lives are dying of a preventable and treatable disease. At least 25 million people of working age are infected with HIV. HIV/AIDS strikes workers’ lives through their ability to secure a job, protect their rights, and earn a livable wage. It kills young and middle-aged workers who support families and communities, fuel economic progress, care for and teach children, and work to build a better future for their country. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is reversing decades of development and threatening economic and social equality worldwide.
The global labor movement has recognized that HIV/AIDS is a key worker issue and therefore a key union issue. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) launched a global action plan against the epidemic, which continues to focus on improving workplace health and safety and providing better care and treatment for all workers, including those with HIV/AIDS. In 2007, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney articulated the US labor movement's unyielding commitment to promote the 2001 International Labor Organization’s 10 principles on HIV/AIDS and the world of work, and to make HIV/AIDS a union priority.
Trade unions are civil society organizations with unique and powerful positions. They have long-established structures and represent unrivaled numbers of workers in all economic sectors. To the HIV/AIDS global response, unions contribute experience, skills, and advocacy needed in workplaces, communities, and nations. The Solidarity Center advocates, educates, and fights to end HIV/AIDS through innovative, worker-focused programs.
View Young Workers' HIV/AIDS Campaign, a video about the Solidarity Center's HIV/AIDS work in South Africa.
Reaching Workers on the Job Key to HIV/AIDS Prevention.
November 30, 2012—Roseline Mosibudi Nkgapele, a member of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), has made it her mission to educate workers about HIV/AIDS. The virus is particularly cruel in that it strikes workers in their prime, affecting their ability to remain productive on the job and earn a living wage. Prevention and care is an urgent issue for workers and their unions.
AIDS: Workplace Partnerships Have Impact.
July 24, 2012—Globally, through the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation, unions have collaborated on HIV/AIDS. Partners in the global south, particularly in southern Africa, have produced a body of successful workplace interventions. As the world comes together, let us not forget the partnerships that work. Op-ed by Solidarity Center Regional Program Director for Africa, Imani Countess.
Unions Speak up at AIDS 2012.
July 20, 2012—In conjunction with the 2012 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the AFL-CIO hosted a one-day forum
in Washington, DC on July 21 on unions’ role in combating HIV/AIDS with a particular focus on improving social protection and raising awareness among youth and young workers.
World AIDS Day 2011.
December 1, 2011—Today, on World AIDS Day 2011, the global labor movement joins with people across the world in memory of those who have lost their lives to AIDS. Unions around the world will be using today as a focus to promote action on HIV/AIDS in the workplace and to call for renewed international commitment to tackle the pandemic, on the basis of shared ownership of the AIDS response.
World AIDS Day 2010: A Focus for Action in the Workplace.
Unions around the world are using December 1, World AIDS Day, as a focus to promote action on HIV/AIDS in the workplace and to call for renewed international commitment to tackle the pandemic, which is responsible for some 5,000 deaths every day.
Combating HIV/AIDS in Africa: Changing Behavior with Worksite Education and Testing.
The Solidarity Center is working in partnership with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, an industrial affiliate of the country's largest union Federation COSATU, to train and provide free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling to several thousand manufacturing workers a year. Cross-posted from Border Jumpers
: Blog of Bernard Pollack and Danielle Nierenberg as they travel in Africa
Kenya Travelogue. In 2007, Solidarity Center Executive Director Ellie Larson and two AFA-CWA local council presidents traveled to Kenya where they examined the impact of Solidarity Center HIV/AIDS programs on transport sector workers. Read part 1 and part 2 of their travelogue.
Interview with Dr. Feroza Mansoor
. Dr. Feroza Mansoor is the national director of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) AIDS project. The program links thousands of South African garment workers to prevention and education, voluntary testing and counseling, and care and treatment.
South African Union Ties HIV/AIDS to Bargaining. The Solidarity Center’s partnerships with South African unions, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, ensure that HIV/AIDS issues remain at the forefront of every workplace contract negotiation, policy, and practice.
South African, U.S. Teachers Unite Against HIV/AIDS. A nearly $4 million Solidarity Center program teams South Africa’s teachers’ unions and the American Federation of Teachers in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
A Personal Story: Teachers Caring for Teachers in South Africa.Soweto high school teacher MaryAnn Segwane found out in 2003 that she had HIV.
The ROADS intiative.Regional Outreach Addressing AIDS through Development Strategies (ROADS), is a comprehensive five-year Solidarity Center campaign aimed at bringing HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment to long haul truckers and communities in Kenya, Djibouti, Rwanda, Uganda, and eventually Tanzania.
In Swaziland and Lesotho, Workers Fight HIV/AIDS on the Shop Floor. In Swaziland and Lesotho, HIV prevalence among women of working age is among the highest in the world. In 2005, the Solidarity Center launched an HIV/AIDS education program for these vulnerable garment workers.
In the Fight Against the Spread of HIV/AIDS, There Is No Silver Bullet. And as we travel throughout sub-Saharan Africa we are seeing dozens of innovative ways that organizations, governments, and individuals are working to fight the disease.
Nigerian Unions Address Gender Imbalances in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS. The Solidarity Center has worked with truck drivers, nurses, and oil workers in Nigeria to help workers recognize how power imbalances between men and women, and the violation of women’s rights, increases the spread of HIV.
Solidarity Center Publications