Health and Safety Considerations for the team
The families and home partners that we will be assisting as part of the Hands and Hearts project, have been impacted by HIV AIDS. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. As the infection progresses, the immune system becomes weaker, and the person becomes more susceptible to infections. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It can take 10-15 years for an HIV-infected person to develop AIDS; antiretroviral drugs can slow down the process even further.
We are committed to the health and safety of our participants, volunteers, construction workers, home partners and Habitat staff.
As a result of the medical condition of our home partners as well as our safety standards, the affected home partners will not be building but assisting where they can on the build site. As with all Habitat builds, first aid and a professional medical attention is available throughout the build. Furthermore, in the interests of health and safety, there will be no power tools on site used by volunteers.
Important information concerning the transmission of HIV
Below information from the World Health Organisation, outlining the transmission of HIV. We have designed the build activities to minimise the risk to you.
HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (anal or vaginal), transfusion of contaminated blood, sharing of contaminated needles, and between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. HIV can be transmitted via unprotected and close contact with a variety of body fluids of infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.
Examples of HIV transmission routes include:
- unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV- infected partner;
- mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding;
- transfusion with HIV-infected blood products;
- Sharing of contaminated injection equipment, tattooing, skin-piercing tools and surgical equipment.”
Further information can be found here