BANASA implements HIV/AIDS labor policy

Banasa has an HIV/AIDS labor policy with the dignity of the person at its core, and which is based on national and international laws relating to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, the National Policy on Sexually Transmitted Infections, the set of practical recommendations of the International Labor Organization-ILO- on HIV/AIDS and other labor provisions.

Based on these premises, Banasa has trained its field and packing plant workers on HIV prevention; it has delivered informative lectures on the content of the policy and more recently implemented the “Hand-in-hand with HIV/AIDS Prevention” program in partnership with the Association of Independent Banana Growers (APIB), which includes training workers on HIV prevention, and free and voluntary testing.

More than 600 field and packing plants workers participated voluntarily in the “Take the Test” campaign. It consisted of HIV/AIDS testing and training on HIV awareness, technical concepts, human values, forms of transmission, prevention and respect and tolerance towards people with HIV.

“At Banasa we promote our HIV /AIDS policy with the dignity of the person, responsibility, solidarity, respect and trust at its core. This policy does not discriminate, it is managed confidentially. The necessary support is provided and prevention is promoted through training and workshops to help improve the quality of life of employees, their families and communities”, said Bernardo Roehrs, Corporate Director of BANASA.

The content of the policy emphasizes that HIV testing is not a requirement to get a job or keep it; the policy applies to and benefits all staff, without distinction of gender or position; any current or future seropositive employee will be treated with respect, promoting non-discrimination within the work environment; worker HIV test results will be treated with strict confidentiality, and discriminatory behaviors against people affected by the virus will not be tolerated. Access to health services will be promoted for HIV patients, without prejudice to their job, position or salary.

In addition, Banasa also implements the APIB HIV /AIDS labor policy for the banana sector.