- Up to 89% of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Malaysia are aged 20-49, a population which is at their most productive years as the working-class group. If discrimination against PLHIV continue in the workplace, this will not only affect the company, but also the country’s economy.
- In 2012, a study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) showed that Malaysia has by far the greatest incidence of bias at workplace towards HIV positive employees in the world; more than half of the respondents in a study said both their employer and colleagues discriminated against them(1).
- In 2015, one third of HIV-related discrimination complaints reported to the Malaysian AIDS Foundation occurred at the workplace, including instances of termination, forced resignation and demotion(2).
- The PLHIV Stigma Index(3) data clearly shows that HIV-related stigma and discrimination directly impede access to work by PLHIV by:– Obstructing entry to the labour market
– Changing the type of work individuals are allowed to perform
– Preventing promotion to more senior positions
– Triggering people being fired from their jobs
– Impeding access to adult education and training
– The consequences of HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the workplace remain economically and socially profound.