The epidemic of HIV and AIDS constitute one of the major challenges to development worldwide. The disease condition reduces the productivity of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in the labour force and imposes a huge socio-economic burden on employers of labour. In Nigeria, employers of labour's perceptions and practices relating to HIV and AIDS have not been adequately explored. This study therefore determined public and private employers of labour's perceptions, practices and attitudes to persons who are living with HIV and AIDS in Ibadan North Local Government Area, Oyo state, Nigeria. The study was cross-sectional in design. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 400 study participants in the public (38) and private (362) sectors for interview. The instrument for data collection was a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and the χ2 test. There were more males (68.2%) than females (31.8%) among the participants. A majority, (79.0%), of the participants in the public sector (PuS) and 72.9% in the private sector (PrS) knew that an infected healthy looking person could harbour and transmit HIV to others. Overall, deep kissing (89.8%) topped the list of perceived mode of transmission of HIV; blood transfusion was mentioned by 46.3% of the participants while unprotected sex (30.4%) was the least mentioned. The listed ways of preventing HIV were: use of condom (85.9%); avoiding deep kissing (71.3%); keeping one uninfected sexual partner (21.2%); and sexual abstinence (15.4%). Avoidance of unscreened blood transfusion (6.2%) was the least mentioned means of transmitting HIV. The perception of 77.0% of the entire participants was that HIV and AIDS do not reduce workers' productivity. A majority, (80.0%), of which 2.3% with no formal education, 1.0% primary education, 13.5% secondary education, 41.5% HND/B.Sc, 21.0% postgraduate and 0.8% with other qualifications were of the view that workers infected with HIV and AIDS should not be sacked. Slightly less than half (48.0%) would keep their staff's HIV status secret while more than half, (57.0%), would not recruit a PLWHA. More than half of the participants, (56.5%), expressed a positive attitude to staff who is a PLWHA. More respondents in the private sector, (47.8%), claimed to have ever organised HIV and AIDS-related educational programmes for their staff than those in the public sector (42.1%) (p<0.05). Almost equal number of participants in the public (36.8%) and private (36.2%) sectors would require mandatory test for HIV before employment. Only 1.8% of participants in the PuS and 6% in the PrS (p<0.05) reported that their organisations had a workplace HIV and AIDS policy. Although the participants would tolerate staff with HIV and AIDS, their perceptions are indicative of limited knowledge about the mode of transmission and prevention of HIV. Health education strategies such as training and workplace HIV and AIDS education are needed to address these shortcomings.
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