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Unit Standard 13915 Learner Guide

Download the learner guide in the course materials


Unit Standard Title

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS in a workplace, and its effects on a business sub-sector, own organisation and a specific workplace

NQF Level





This unit standard provides a broad introduction to HIV/AIDS in the workplace. It introduces a broad case of knowledge about HIV/AIDS that will enable learners to be informed and caring workers in an industry. The focus is knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in relation to the learner`s own context and experience of the world of work.

Learning assumed to be in place

There is open access to this unit standard. Learners should

  • Hold a GETC or equivalent qualification or
  • Be competent in communication and mathematical literacy NQF level 2

Unit standard range

The typical scope of this unit standard is:

  • The effect of HIV/AIDS on the individual, the workplace and society
  • The effect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the economy, a sub-sector, and organisation and a specific workplace

Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Specific outcome 1: Know and understand HIV/AIDS and its effects on the human immune system

Assessment criteria

  • The terms HIV and AIDS are known and explained at a basic level of understanding
  • The way in which the immune system works is explained with reference to the role of antibodies in the immune system
  • An indication is given as to how the HIV virus attacks the immune system
  • The concept of a window period is explained with reference to the Elisa test
  • The concept that the Elisa Test tests for antibodies is known and an indication is given of the implications that this has in terms of the window period and the use of vaccinations
  • The fact that all babies born to HIV/AIDS mothers initially test positive for the HIV virus is known and reason are given to explain why these test results change over time.
  • The concept of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is explained with the reference to the role of the Rapid Test and confirmation by the Elisa Test
  • The effects of HIV infection are explained including the ability of infected persons to perform work and the importance of lifestyle changes to boost the immune system and prevent reinfection
  • The importance of pre and post test counselling is known and understood and the implications of HIV testing for an individual are discussed in terms of making a personal decision to take an AIDS
  • The stages of the disease are outlined with an example of what happens at each stage from infection with HIV to full-blown AIDS and death
  • The chances of a person surviving with AIDS are discussed with reference to the latest views on medication and the costs of the drugs

Specific outcome 2: Know and understand how HIV/AIDS is transmitted

Assessment criteria

  • The effect of body fluids on transmission of the HIV virus is outlined at a basic level of understanding
  • Sex is identified as the most common way in which the HIV virus is transmitted and other ways in which HIV is transmitted are listed with an indication of the conditions necessary for transmission
  • The ways in which mother to child transmission can occur are listed and the implication of a pregnant woman/girl child having unprotected sex are indicated for both the mother and the unborn child
  • Actions that an HIV positive mother can take to lower the risk of infection to the child and prolong the onset of AIDS in herself are presented in a poster to promote wellness.
  • The dangers of drug abuse and behaviour that could result in HIV transmission are explained with suggestions for limiting transmission
  • Precautions used in South Africa to ensure that blood products are HIV free are outlined at a basic level of understanding

Specific outcome 3: Know what behaviour is safe and what behaviour carries the risk of HIV transmission

Assessment criteria

  • The relationship between human behaviour and HIV/AIDS is outlined at a basic level of understanding
  • Ways in which the individual can avoid contracting or spreading HIV/AIDS are named with an indication of how own behaviour can reduce the risk of infection
  • Examples of behaviour that carry a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS are named and classified according to whether they carry a high, medium or low
  • Situations that have a potential to spread HIV/AIDS in the workplace are discussed and rated in terms of high, medium and low risk
  • Fears and common misunderstandings about the transmission of HIV/AIDS are described in the context of the workplace
  • The reasons are given why certain behaviours and activities carry a low risk of infection
  • The role of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the transmission of the HIV virus is known and understood and an indication is given of how untreated STDs greatly increase the risk of transmission

Specific outcome 4: Know what guidelines and assistance are available to support workers with HIV/AIDS

Assessment criteria

  • Know what guidelines and assistance are available to support workers with HIV/AIDS and recognise own role in creating a caring work environment
  • A company policy on HIV/AIDS or the National Department of Health’s document “Guidelines for developing a workplace policy and programme” is accessed and evidence of knowledge is provided in the form of a brief summary
  • The possible problems that a worker with HIV/AIDS could encounter are listed with suggestions as to what the learner himself/herself could do to create a caring situation in the workplace
  • The importance of employers playing a proactive role in addressing the AIDS pandemic are known and understood and ways in which a company can create a caring environment for workers with HIV/AIDS are suggested for a familiar context
  • The availability of HIV/AIDS prevention and wellness programmes provided by medical schemes, organisations and other bodies is known and an explanation is given on how to access them
  • The treatment options available to a person with HIV/AIDS are known and a table is compiled indicating which treatment is available locally
  • The rights of all workers in respect of HIV/AIDS are known and their personal responsibilities are understood dealing with the pandemic
  • The Universal Precautions are known and applied in the work environment
  • A code of behaviour in the workplace is drafted. To help someone cope with realisation that s/he has HIV/AIDS and to ensure co-workers are safe from infection; or To prevent someone who does not yet have HIV/AIDS from becoming infected
  • A presentation is created to help address the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and the importance of employers playing a proactive role in dealing with HIV/AIDS

Specific outcome 5: Know and understand the implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for society, the economy, a business sub-sector, an organisation and a specific workplace.

Assessment criteria

  • The needs of AIDS orphans are outlined with reference, at a basic level of understanding, to the burden of a large number of orphans on society and the economy
  • The effect of a population composed mainly of children and the aged on the economy and the State is outlined at a basic level of understanding
  • The need for medical care for people with HIV/AIDS and the implications for employers and the State are discussed at a basic level of understanding
  • The effect of HIV/AIDS on the workforce and family income is discussed at a basic level of understanding
  • The effect of HIV/AIDS for an organisation are discussed at a basic level of understanding
  • The implications of HIV/AIDS for a specific workplace are discussed at a basic level of understanding
  • The implications of HIV/AIDS for an industry sub-sector are discussed at a basic level of understanding

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

  • Unit Standard CCFO Identifying – The learner is able to identify and solve problems in which responses show that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made in knowing what information may be given to prospective employers and other persons about employees.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Collecting – The learner is able to collect, organise and critically evaluate information in analysing the relationship between the four Acts.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Demonstrating – The learner is able to demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation in understanding the need to ask carefully worded questions in interviews and the consequence of giving information about employees to a third party.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Organising – The learner is able to organise and manage him/herself and his/her activities responsibly and effectively in preparing questions for interviews and compiling the required reports.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Working – The learner is able to work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community in ensuring fair labour practice.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Communicating – The learner is able to communicate effectively in explaining the various sections of the legislation and in calculating the Skills Development Levy for a business unit.
  • Unit Standard CCFO Contributing – The learner is able to participate as a responsible citizen in the life of local and national communities in knowing how to ensure fair labour practice. The learner is able to be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts in implementing the EE policy of an organisation in a business unit.
  • Demonstrate understanding of aspects of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCOE) (as amended) that business unit managers might be responsible for implementing.