Swedish Workplace HIV and AIDS Programme

The Swedish Workplace HIV and AIDS Programme (SWHAP) is all about limiting the spread of HIV/AIDS and helping to create healthy workplaces in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme supports or has supported more than 350 workplace HIV/Wellness programmes in twelve countries. The objective is for companies and employees to work together to stop the spread of HIV as well as limit the effects of the disease and other related illnesses.

SWHAP is a project run jointly by NIR and the Swedish Industrial and Metalworkers’ Union (IF Metall). The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and their Norwegian counterpart Norad provide financial support and Swedish companies participating include ABB, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, Dyno Nobel, Ericsson, Sandvik, Scania, SKF, Swedish Match, Tetra Pak and Volvo.

Around 32 000 employees in several work places have been reached by the projects, as well as 5 000 affected family members and 20 000 in the communities the companies operate in. SWHAP is present in Botswana, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

HIV and AIDS have severe consequences both for individuals and for society – and therefore also for companies. SWHAP believes that everyone must do what he or she can to limit these consequences. As we spend a lot of time at work and our attitudes and behaviour are often strongly influenced by your work environment, the workplace is a good place to start.

SWHAP works directly in the workplace. It supports a variety of HIV/AIDS and Wellness programmes that are run by the company and employees together. This is done through workplace committees that are tasked with planning activities such as voluntary testing and advice, education, distribution of condoms and couples counselling. Care and treatment are also part of many programmes.

The programme has been so successful that SWHAP has been asked by others working with HIV/AIDS to share its experiences. One of the keys to the success is the fact that the responsibility for planning and implementation of the projects in the workplaces is shared between employees and employers.

If you want to know more about our work against HIV/AIDS, please contact Alessandra Cornale or visit the website of the project.