The IOE has consistently worked with the World Health Organization over a number of years, mainly in the ILO/WHO Joint Committee on Occupational Health and in its work on HIV/AIDS. Discussions were held to see how this collaboration, particularly in the areas of treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS sufferers, could be strengthened. The IOE was also intimately engaged in the drafting of joint ILO/WHO Guidelines on health services and HIV/AIDS in 2005. The purpose of the new Guidelines is to promote sound management of HIV/AIDS in health services, both in the public and private sectors.

The IOE is also exploring with the trade union movement, areas of collaboration between the WHO, employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations at national level, particularly in terms of work with WHO Regional and Country offices, in building the capacity of IOE and ITUC members to support their HIV/AIDS programmes.

The WHO and IOE are exploring ways to facilitate discussions with the pharmaceutical industry on how to provide more access to antiretroviral treatment. This request comes at a time when a number of companies from different sectors of economic activity are interested in the work of the WHO. The WHO sees strengthening collaboration with the IOE as an effective means to reach SMEs worldwide.

The IOE is also working closely with the WHO on Occupational Safety and Health programmes.