Re: A first: Kerala reserves post for HIV positive

VIEW: It is a PR exercise

Kerala recently became the first Indian state to reserve jobs for HIV positive candidates. The state has an estimated 25,000 HIV positive people.

The Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) announced that it had reserved a vacancy in its office for an HIV positive person to "improve coordination and communication with groups at risk and ensure effective prevention".

While this may seem like a laudable move, it is in fact little more than grandstanding for applause.

Editorial, The Times of India

Employment procedures should be blind to such conditions. Any reservation along such lines, even if it is for HIV positive people, amounts to discrimination. A perfectly healthy person shouldn’t be penalised for not having a life-threatening disease. There is also the danger of jobs being reserved for people with other medical conditions.

What’s next? Jobs for cancer patients, or for those suffering from tuberculosis? Do we really want people faking test results to state they are HIV positive to get jobs? In fact, there should be no bias against HIV positive persons in the first place.

The KSACS might have good intentions. But, as it stands, reserving jobs for the HIV positive is just a public relations exercise. Until something is executed properly, it will come as a cropper.

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