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HIV/ AIDS Policy

#Sample College Research Paper

Introduction

For a long time, people living with HIV/ AIDS have suffered discrimination as well as denial of important services at the work place hence, affecting their productivity. As a result, it is has become a necessity for organizations to come up with HIV/ Policies. Therefore, this paper will discuss the three core aspects of policy making i.e., evaluation, analysis and revision in relation to my chosen topic, HIV/AIDS policy.

Evaluation

The evaluation stage of a policy formulation process is indeed an important stage in the sense that it critically examines the policy to establish the intended outcome, the relevant information that would be collected to evaluate the policy in a bid to determine whether it meets the said outcome and parties responsible for collecting the information.

The intended outcome for the HIV/ AIDS policy is to develop guidelines that promote non-discrimination, prevention, awareness and health support to all employees of a given organization. In regards to non-discrimination, the policy intends to provide healthy working environment that is void of harassment and/or discrimination. In addition, the policy should include the corrective actions that shall be enforced if colleagues engage in such acts (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2013). As for prevention, the policy’s intended outcome is to manage the risk of HIV infection at the workplace by outlining the need for appropriate training on the use of infection control measures at the workplace, facilitating appropriate tools and materials that protect colleagues from the risk of exposure to the disease in the execution of their duties and to provide appropriate information on HIV/ AIDS included in occupational health and first aid training (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). The policy also intends to promote education and awareness programs that are in line with prevention goals. Lastly, the policy intends to outline guidelines for health support for colleagues who test positive for HIV in order to retain their productivity. This may include medical cover policy.  

In order to evaluate the policy to determine if it meets the intended outcome, specific data and information ought to be collected. For instance, it would be imperative to collect relevant information about the organization. This may be broken further into the needs and concerns of the management and those of the employees. As for the management, some of the concerns may include; the need to retain skilled and experienced employees, performance management, the need to provide sustainable as well as equitable benefits, keeping low costs, promoting safe working environment and the need to recruit employees who are able to perform their outlined duties. The employees may also have needs such as the need to avoid HIV infection, acquire protection against stigma and discrimination on the basis of their HIV status, the need to have confidentiality maintained, access to treatment, job security and enjoy a safe working environment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Technical expertise in regards to HIV/ AIDS such as relevant laws and impact analysis should also be sought in order to get information and data to aid in information gathering.  

Given the magnitude and intensity of data and information required to evaluate the viability of the policy, it would be critical to have specific individuals to aid in the collection. For this particular policy, it would be important to appoint a HIV/ AIDS task team that is representative. More specifically, the team will comprise members of the senior management and those of employee-interest groups such as trade unions and staff associations. Indeed the list would be incomplete without incorporating the GIPA principle i.e. Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/ AIDS. With such involvement of people from the outset, interest and commitment would be guaranteed.

Analysis

Policy analysis is important for the determination of the ability of policies to achieve set goals. The main aim of health care policy analysis is to elaborate or rather establish the interactions that exist between the governmental bodies, the institutions and interests in the policy process. The analysis is indeed useful in the sense that it gives a broad understanding of past failures as well as successes with an aim of building a better plan for the executions of the policy in the future. It is also worth noting that the analysis stage is further split into six steps.

  1. Verify, define and detail the problem

  2. Establish evaluation criteria

  3. Identify alternative policies

  4. Evaluate alternative policies

  5. Display and distinguish among alternative policies

  6. Monitor  the implemented policy (Andersen, Fagerhaug  & Beltz, 2009)

The aspect of the HIV/AIDS policy that would be analyzed for effectiveness is compliance of the policy to the federal laws and the policies in general outlined by the government touching on HIV/AIDS.  In fact, policies that do not meet such legal expectations cannot be implemented. The main reason for conducting such an analysis is to ensure that the policies formulated do not expose the organization to legal actions due to non-compliance to the law and that the policies outlined operate within the confines of the law.

The policy makers are responsible for this particular activity. Once they receive the information and data from the collection team, they embark on following the aforementioned steps of health care policy analysis in order to ascertain that the policy is effective. For this particular policy, the outcome is that certain aspects of the law have not been fully observed. For instance, the law demands that disclosure of one’s HIV status is voluntary hence; employees are not compelled to disclose their status to their employers or fellow employees (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2014). However, this is not well captured in the policy as it does not clearly state the freedom of privacy of information in respect to HIV/ AIDS.

Revision

The revision stage of the policy formulation process is critical to developing an effective policy that can be adopted. Once the policy has been drafted, the policy makers review the contents to weed out potential clauses that could render the policy ineffective. It is important to note here that revision does not necessarily mean removing parts that are considered ‘unwanted’, but may also involve addition of specific information that enhances the effectiveness of the policy.

Based on the analysis completed and discussed in this paper, there is need to revise policies touching on the privacy of employees living with HIV/ AIDS. The policy should be clear on the protection of privacy and further focus on policies that promote prevention, treatment, education and awareness in order to create a safe and enabling environment for employees to work in. The revision will also contribute to the overall compliance of the organization to governmental policies hence, avoiding lawsuits.

Conclusion

The discussed stages indeed show that the process of policy making is critical. Extensive information gathering ought to be conducted in order to draft a policy that touches on the important issues affecting the relationship between the organization, its employees and other stake holders such as the government. As for the HIV/AIDS policy, it is important to consider all detailed factors and make necessary revisions in order to develop a policy that is effective.

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References

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. (2014). Legislative and Regulatory Process. Retrieved from:http://www.aacn.org/wd/practice/content/publicpolicy/intro.pcms?menu=

Andersen, B., Fagerhaug, T. & Beltz, M. (2009). Root Cause Analysis and Improvement in the Healthcare Sector: A Step-by-step Guide. USA: ASQ Quality Press.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Evaluation. Retrieved from:http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/evaluation/

Teitelbaum, J.B. & Wilensky, S.E. (2013). Essentials of Health Policy and Law. USA: Jones &Bartlett Publishers

 

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