IMPORTANT! This program is meant to provide information of a general nature to employees who are at little risk of being exposed to AIDS in the workplace.

    IF YOU ARE EMPLOYED IN A HIGH-RISK AREA OR OCCUPATION, SUCH AS THOSE INVOLVING LABORATORY WORK, HEALTH OR PATIENT CARE, or PUBLIC SAFETY work, your agency is required to provide you with more extensive training on AIDS. **Please contact your supervisor or agency training coordinator for this additional training.

** Agencies required by OSHA regulations or internal policies to provide more extensive training on AIDS/HIV/Bloodborne Pathogens, etc., ARE NOT AUTHORIZED to substitute this program for that required training.


Think you know all about AIDS?

Take this quick quiz

HIV and AIDS in the United States:

Question 1: Which group has the highest rate of new HIV infections? (Click on your answer)


A. Women

B. Homosexual men

C. African-American men


Question 2: Among people under the age of 25, the rate of new HIV infections is highest among:

A. Homosexual males

B. Heterosexual males

C. Teenage girls


Question 3. For all racial, ethnic and native groups in the U.S., the rate of new HIV infection is highest among:

A. Whites

B. African-Americans

C. Latinos


Answer: WOMEN now have the highest rate of new HIV infections

Women of color are especially affected:


AIDS-related illness is now the
for African-American women in the

Answer: TEENAGE GIRLS have the fastest-growing rate of new HIV infections among people under 25 years old

Answer: African-Americans

In the U.S, African-Americans have the highest case rates of any native, ethnic group, followed by Latinos, American Indian/Alaska natives, whites, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.


AIDS results when the immune system is destroyed by a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus


In the United States alone more than a million cases of AIDS have been reported.



   As many as 1/3 of the people carrying the HIV virus do not know they are infected



There is no vaccine.


There is no cure.




HIV is the virus that CAUSES AIDS


Testing positive for HIV does NOT mean that a person has active AIDS

T-cells help provide immunity to disease

HIV cells invade the T-Cells…

…and the virus begins to replicate itself…

Though a person infected with the HIV virus may be symptom-free for 8 to 10 years…In many cases, the body will eventually no longer be able to fight off infections. 



This will mark the onset of active AIDS


HIV disease occurs on a continuum from initial exposure to the production of antibodies to,finally, full-blown active AIDS


Not everyone infected with HIV will develop active AIDS,  but they may be able to transmit the virus.


How is HIV transmitted?




It is transmitted through blood and body fluids


Specifically, HIV is transmitted through



Vaginal fluids

Breast milk


How is HIV transmitted?

Common methods of transmission:

o  Unprotected sex with an infected partner

o  Sharing a contaminated needle (drug, but also tattoo and body piercing needles)

o  Birth to or breastfeeding from an infected mother

o  Receiving a contaminated blood product


HIV is NOT transmitted

Through casual contact, such as sharing office space, or by sharing eating utensils or dishes used by someone with HIV disease or AIDS.


Though mosquitoes can transmit saliva-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and malaria, they CANNOT transmit the blood-borne HIV virus.




 Minority groups are disproportionately
 affected by AIDS


    African-Americans have the highest case rates of any native, ethnic group, followed by Latinos, American Indian/Alaska natives, whites, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.




   In 2001, AIDS was the 3rd leading cause of death among African-American men between the ages of 25 and 34…



U.S. Trends: Women

Women now account for about a quarter of new AIDS cases, up from 7% in 1986.


U.S. Trends: Age

One-half of new HIV infections are estimated to occur among those under the age of 25.


Teenage girls represent more than half of these new cases.


Most young people are infected through sex.  1

Some GOOD news:
Thanks to improved education and testing efforts…


…it is now very rare for HIV

to be transmitted through blood transfusions or between health care workers and their patients.

Thanks to improved treatments:

Ø  There are drugs to prevent transmission of HIV from a pregnant woman to her unborn child

Ø  Those who are HIV positive are staying symptom-free for longer periods of time

Ø  Those with active AIDS are living longer and are better able to manage AIDS-related symptoms


Then why are we still so concerned?

Because more people are becoming infected


Now, in the United States,

 40,000 people become infected with HIV each year




     Locally, the reported number of AIDS cases have begun to rise again:

AIDS Cases Reported in
North Carolina 1998-2002

AIDS Cases Reported in
North Carolina 2000-2002

And remember:

     There is no cure

     There is no vaccine

Preventing the spread of AIDS

     Use condoms

     Do not share needles

     Wear disposable gloves when in contact with blood or body fluids

     Get tested if you may have been exposed to HIV



Preventing the spread of HIV requires behavior change:


HIV is rarely transmitted ‘accidentally’: you have to do something to get it.




     Use condoms

     Avoid risky sexual behaviors

     Don’t share ANY needles


     There is a test that will detect the presence of HIV antibodies.


     In North Carolina this test is confidential but not anonymous: positive test results will be reported to the Board of Health.



While a cure has not been found, some drugs have been effective in slowing the progress of the disease and in treating the infections that come with active AIDS

Why is AIDS a workplace issue?

      Discrimination against people with HIV threatens fundamental principles and rights at work

      Misinformation and discrimination against people with HIV undermine efforts for prevention and care

      The disease cuts the supply of labor and reduces income for many workers

      Valuable skills and experience are lost

         Human lives are lost 2


        It is the State’s policy not to discriminate against any applicant or employee who has or is suspected of having AIDS or HIV infection.  The State recognizes that an employee with AIDS or HIV infection may wish to continue working.  As long as the employee is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the job [G.S. 168A-3(9), 130A-148C(i)] and there is no medical evidence indicating that employee’s condition is a health threat to employees, co-workers or the public, an employee shall not be denied continued employment nor shall an applicant be denied employment solely because of a medical condition.

        The employee is also entitled to a work environment free of other discrimination or harassment.


What if I am exposed at work?

If you come in contact with blood or other body fluids:

 Wash the area with soap and water


If splashed in eyes, rinse eyes with

 sterile solution or clean water

If splashed in mouth,
rinse immediately
with lots of water

Fill out an accident report

Get referrals for medical assessment, testing and counseling


          An employee who has had a nonsexual blood or body fluid exposure to the HIV virus while on the job may voluntarily elect to be tested for the HIV infection.

          The cost of tests for the exposed employee shall be borne by the employer, if requested by the employee.  Some employees may prefer to pay for their own test through a personal or family physician, or use the free testing of a Public Health Department.







1 "The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States," (#3029-03), The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2004. This information was reprinted with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Family Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, is a nonprofit, independent national health care philanthropy and is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.

      Comments on impact of AIDS on the workforce courtesy of ILO/AIDS.  Used with permission.


      Image of HIV antibody cell courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Office of Health Education. Used with permission.

      Image of T-cells courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Center for Biologic Imaging. Used with permission.

      Special thanks to narrator Michael Telesca.






Copyright ©2004 NC Office of State Personnel/Jane Bozarth