AIDS is a leading high-risk disease with multiple-faceted impact worldwide. It is impacting on a number of sectors. This subject was chosen because of personal interest, and also because of lack of research on the subject in the South African Post Office (SAPO). The researcher’s work in Durban, at the SAPO as an Employee Assistance Professional for two years, has exposed her to an increasing number of employees infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. As an Employee Assistance Professional the researcher is expected to support these employees. Through working with employees who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS the researcher felt interested in the subject, especially in investigating how HIV/AIDS is affecting SAPO. The researcher also wanted to contribute to increasing the knowledge base, and to contribute to the development of the organization. This study will assist management to gain insight into the impact of HIV/AIDS on the workplace, and then to be able to plan for the future. This study was focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS in the SAPO in Durban. It was designed to understand the psychosocial impact of HIV/AIDS on both the infected and the affected employees. The aim of the study was to explore the impact at in individual level and at the organization as a whole. A particular area of interest was on the impact caused by HIV/AIDS on their benefits and the execution of work of the employees. Data was gathered by a questionnaire through a sample of 33 supervisors and 10 managers from the Post Offices around Durban who were selected using systematic random sampling. Efforts were made to ensure that cultural diversity in the Post Office is represented in the sample. A literature review was conducted on the subject of HIV/AIDS and its impact in the workplace. Key concepts of the study were the following; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and impact. The study found that both the infected and affected employees were affected physically and psychologically by HIV/AIDS in different ways. It was indicated that the impact was also experienced in different ways. The impact depended on the type of a job of an infected employee. Employees were found to be at various stages and relapsing to and from backward stages, most of the time. As a final product of the applied research used for this study, some guidelines to make a difference to the impact are proposed. Proposals constitute future broad guidelines with regard to HIV/AIDS services to be provided by the Employee Assistance Professional and management, and the support to be provided to both the HIV infected and affected employees.
Dissertation (MSD (EAP))--University of Pretoria, 2005.