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International Labour Organization joins other UN agencies in fighting AIDS

International Labour Organization joins other UN agencies in fighting AIDS

Two United Nations agencies today announced they have joined resources to help countries prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to provide care and support for people infected or affected by the disease.

The Geneva-based International Labour Organization (ILO) has become a cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), joining seven other UN agencies as partners in efforts to reduce the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV/AIDS and to ease the socio-economic and human impact of the epidemic.

"The ILO brings to UNAIDS its understanding and expertise in the world of work. We know the workplace is a key location for HIV/AIDS prevention and care programmes," said UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot. "ILO's co-sponsorship will considerably strengthen UNAIDS."

"HIV/AIDS affects everyone today but has an especially profound impact on workers and their families, enterprises and employers, and national economies," ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said. "With the accession of the ILO to UNAIDS, we now add the historic force of tripartism - governments, workers and employers - to the international efforts being undertaken to meet the challenge of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the world of work."

The ILO has already adopted a pioneering Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work. The new Code provides guidelines for developing concrete responses to HIV/AIDS at enterprise, community and national levels in preventing the disease, managing and mitigating the effect of HIV/AIDS at work, care and support for workers infected and affected by the epidemic and eliminating stigma and discrimination on the basis of real or perceived HIV status.

ILO has also carried out country-level activities in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean to support the efforts of governments and their social partners to fight the epidemic.

The other UN agency cosponsors are: the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.