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World Aids Day 2022

The day is an opportunity to honour those lost to Aids-related illness, and to work to challenge and eliminate HIV stigma and discrimination.

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Published 1 December 2022

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World Aids Day is marked across the globe each year on 1st December. The day is an opportunity to honour those lost to Aids-related illness, and to work to challenge and eliminate HIV stigma and discrimination. Wearing a red ribbon is often used as an outward symbol of support for World Aids Day.

Over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK, globally some 38 million people live with the virus.

There is sadly still a lot of stigma and ignorance around HIV. For example it is still not widely known that, if someone living with HIV is on effective treatment and has an undetectable viral load, their chances of passing on HIV to a sexual partner is zero (usually described as “Undetectable = Untransmittable”, or “U=U”).

According to a recent poll, some 75% of people living with HIV have experienced discrimination because of their HIV status.

In the UK, people living with HIV are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. In an employment setting, employees living with HIV are protected from being treated less favourably or being the target of harassment and negative comments and treatment because of, or related to, their status. They are also entitled to reasonable adjustments where necessary, and cannot be discriminated against because of anything arising out of their status, for example, the need to attend medical appointments.

A diagnosis of HIV brings automatic protection under the Equality Act as the condition is automatically deemed a ‘disability’. Employers should be mindful that not all health conditions and disabilities are visible, and an employer’s knowledge of a person’s status is not always necessary for some discrimination protections to apply.

Employers must take proactive steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace through, for example, meaningful training and effective policies. They must also address complaints of discrimination where they arise. Failure to do so could expose employers to grievances and possibly tribunal litigation.

For more information on how our employment lawyers can support you, visit our discrimination law page.

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Shorter Reads

World Aids Day 2022

The day is an opportunity to honour those lost to Aids-related illness, and to work to challenge and eliminate HIV stigma and discrimination.

Published 1 December 2022

Associated sectors / services

Authors

World Aids Day is marked across the globe each year on 1st December. The day is an opportunity to honour those lost to Aids-related illness, and to work to challenge and eliminate HIV stigma and discrimination. Wearing a red ribbon is often used as an outward symbol of support for World Aids Day.

Over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK, globally some 38 million people live with the virus.

There is sadly still a lot of stigma and ignorance around HIV. For example it is still not widely known that, if someone living with HIV is on effective treatment and has an undetectable viral load, their chances of passing on HIV to a sexual partner is zero (usually described as “Undetectable = Untransmittable”, or “U=U”).

According to a recent poll, some 75% of people living with HIV have experienced discrimination because of their HIV status.

In the UK, people living with HIV are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. In an employment setting, employees living with HIV are protected from being treated less favourably or being the target of harassment and negative comments and treatment because of, or related to, their status. They are also entitled to reasonable adjustments where necessary, and cannot be discriminated against because of anything arising out of their status, for example, the need to attend medical appointments.

A diagnosis of HIV brings automatic protection under the Equality Act as the condition is automatically deemed a ‘disability’. Employers should be mindful that not all health conditions and disabilities are visible, and an employer’s knowledge of a person’s status is not always necessary for some discrimination protections to apply.

Employers must take proactive steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace through, for example, meaningful training and effective policies. They must also address complaints of discrimination where they arise. Failure to do so could expose employers to grievances and possibly tribunal litigation.

For more information on how our employment lawyers can support you, visit our discrimination law page.

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