HIV and AIDS in South African construction: is age nothing but a number?

Recently the South African government introduced new legislation to regulate the construction industry and, in particular, redistribute the responsibility for construction worker safety and health to include all industry participants. Consequently, the need to maintain and promote construction worke...

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Published in: Construction management and economics Vol. 23; no. 1; pp. 107 - 119
Main Authors: Haupt, Theo C, Munshi, Meenakshi, Smallwood, John
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: Taylor & Francis Group 01-01-2005
Taylor and Francis Journals
Series: Construction Management & Economics
Subjects:
HIV
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: Recently the South African government introduced new legislation to regulate the construction industry and, in particular, redistribute the responsibility for construction worker safety and health to include all industry participants. Consequently, the need to maintain and promote construction workers' health and working capacity has been given an increased prominence. Considering that the highest rates of new infections are reportedly occurring on the African continent, the fight against HIV and AIDS in the workplace has become an African priority. A comparative assessment is carried out on the levels of knowledge, perceptions and beliefs, and behaviours of construction workers in South Africa relative to HIV infection and AIDS. The levels of knowledge and awareness of HIV and AIDS among construction workers younger than 40 years of age ('younger workers') are compared with those of workers older than 40 years ('older workers'). A regional exploratory study commenced in August 2002. Both age cohorts of construction workers generally had acceptable levels of knowledge, perceptions and attitudes on most issues relative to the disease. However, several areas are highlighted where they had deficient knowledge and attitudes or demonstrated high levels of uncertainty. Overall, younger workers had lower levels of uncertainty and deficient knowledge. There were several areas where these were common irrespective of age. These are the areas that deserve urgent employer driven interventions.
ISSN: 0144-6193
1466-433X
DOI: 10.1080/0144619042000301366