April/May 2016 (vol. 12/6)

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HIV status has no impact on work ability

There was no significant difference in work ability (WA) between workers who were either HIV-positive or HIVnegative, this Dutch cohort study found. It included 264 HIV-positive and 359 HIV-negative people aged 45–65 in paid work. WA was assessed by self-administered questionnaire on a scale of 0 to 10; a score below six indicated insufficient WA. Nine per cent of HIV-positive workers had insufficient WA, compared with 7% of HIVnegative individuals. HIV-positive individuals were declared partly unfit for work twice as often (6%) as those who were HIV-negative (3%) albeit with very low prevalences (p = 0.02). Several factors were associated with low WA – including low educational level, working fewer hours, being partly unfit for work, experiencing a high need for recovery after work, and reporting depressive symptoms – but these were independent of HIV status. Experiencing work-related stigma was also associated with insufficient work ability among HIV-positive participants – 29% of those experiencing stigma had insufficient WA compared with 8% of those not experiencing it (p = 0.01).


International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health 2016; online first: doi: 10.1007/s00420-015-1108-0.


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2016 (vol. 12/6) pp40