A majority of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country do not disclose their status at workplaces fearing discrimination, a United Nations study has said.
"Seventy-four per cent of the employees have not disclosed their HIV-positive status at their workplace. Of the remaining 26 per cent who have disclosed their status, 10.3 per cent have reported facing discrimination at the hands of the employer," a UNDP-NACO-NCAER report on "Socio-Economic Impact of HIV and AIDS in India" said.
Discrimination against people living with the disease is higher in rural areas, and in cities many among them have been forced to resign from work or go into voluntary retirement.
The report is based on a study of 2,387 HIV-positive people, of whom 1,152 were employed.
Many who disclosed their status were working for NGOs and reported getting welcome support from their employers and also benefits like leave with pay and adjustable timings.
For most others, the support from employers was negligible.
There were reportedly cases of HIV-positive persons, mainly food vendors, being forcibly evicted by police from a Mumbai locality by police who feared a "risk to the health of affluent consumers." The attitude of co-workers towards such persons has also been discriminatory.
"While 42 per cent (of HIV positive) felt they were neglected, isolated and avoided, nearly 23 per cent reported abuse and teasing and 29 per cent said they have been subjected to name calling," it said.