The free app is available for both Android and iOS devices. It provides the basic facts on HIV/AIDS – how it is transmitted, what the symptoms are, how you can prevent being infected and what treatment is available.
It also gives examples of workers who have challenged the stigma around the disease, and sets out what international and national rights a HIV-positive worker has.
Additionally, it separates the facts from the fiction about the disease, with 12 ‘myth busters’. For example, many people believe that a person with HIV can no longer work. The app explains that this is false – that an HIV positive person is as qualified as anyone else for any type of employment. Being infected with the virus does not alter one’s capacity to function as well as everyone else.
ITF maritime co-ordinator Jacqueline Smith said: “Seafarers – like many transport workers – are particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. We hope this app will help them understand more about the disease and be able to find information quickly and easily, whether they’re at sea, in port or at home. We want to help seafarers keep themselves and their families safe.”
Other wellbeing issues will be added to the app in due course.
Find out more about the ITF’s work on HIV/AIDS – including the results of its 2015 survey of member unions about the health and wellbeing needs and concerns of seafarers.