Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) are proud to support World AIDS Day on Tuesday 1 December. The awareness day was founded in 1988 and was the first ever global health day. The day is for people across the world to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those who continue to live with the illness and remember those who have died from it.
LFRS want to ensure that people are aware that being HIV positive need not be a barrier to becoming a firefighter or working for the service in any other capacity. The service is working hard to be seen by the public as being an inclusive and diverse workforce and promotes the message “fires don’t discriminate, neither do we.” People do not need to disclose their HIV status when applying for a role with LFRS.
Millions of people across the world live with HIV and many more are diagnosed each year. Whilst there is currently no cure for the virus there is now a lot more knowledge of the condition, including how to protect yourself and once diagnosed people can live a fit and healthy life. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma and discrimination attached to being diagnosed as positive however there are laws to protect people who live with the condition.
The service recognises that HIV remains misunderstood, often leading to stigma and discrimination. Having policy and procedures on HIV helps ensure that the workplace is free from prejudice, discrimination, unfounded fears and misconceptions. The service has an ethical and legal obligation to support people living with HIV. People living with HIV are entitled to privacy and dignity at work and will continue to work alongside colleagues that are not known to be positive. There is no reason for colleagues to not work together as HIV cannot be passed on through normal workplace activities and we will educate colleagues who express concerns.
If you are thinking of applying for a role with LFRS and have some questions you may contact our HR team or if you wish to talk to someone about living with AIDS LFRS has previously worked closely with the charity George House Trust in Manchester and recommend you contact them for help or advice.