Factors influencing responses to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS in Kenya: a survey of the motor vehicle industry
Companies respond to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS in many different ways. Some have a one stop comprehensive education, prevention and treatment program while others have nothing in place and respond as if there is no relationship between HIV/AIDS and the business world. This study was undertaken to establish if there are any factors which influence companies to respond the way they do to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS. Does the response depend on nature of ownership, size, HIV incidence rate, age (how long the companies have been operating in Kenya) or profitability? There already exist guidelines on dealing with HIV/AIDS at work from the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), the Kenya Government and the International Labour Organisation (lLO) which have been communicated to companies but which are not being adhered to by all the companies. The study focused on factors influencinq the way companies in the New Vehicle Industry in Kenya respond to the threat posed by HIV/ AIDS. Data was collected using questionnaires which were completed by the Human Resources Managers of these companies. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. The data analysed was presented in tables, charts and percentages. The findings of this study revealed that the age of the company (that is how long they have been operating in Kenya), Nature of ownership, size and profitability influence the way the companies respond to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS. However, knowledge about the extent of HIV infection among staff was found to be a trigger but not an absolute factor influencing company responses to the threat posed by HIVj AIDS. The study recommends company joint campaigns, work based voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), Establishment of HIV/AIDS solidarity funds, voluntary HIV/AIDS peer education, development of an HIV/AIDS Legal framework, support from government organizations and UN bodies and Tax exemption on HIV/AIDS expenses as a way of encouraging companies to respond appropriately to the threat posed by HIV/AIDS. The study suggests that further research should aim at explaining why, despite the high level of awareness of HIV/AIDS, people still increasingly get infected.