LADDERS, through the SAFE Zone campaign, has worked to enhance the knowledge of workers in industrial zones and factories/companies, particularly among young people, on HIV prevention and safe sex practices. The campaign does this by providing them with information and practices for their protection to ensure their well-being. In 2023, a strategic partnership with the HCMC Labor Federation allows LADDERS to bring HIV services to the work place to address access barriers. The Federation’s effort to coordinate and liaise with a number of companies/enterprises around the city has paved the way for 10 SAFE-ZONE campaigns to reach out to roughly 3,000 workers in various settings. Four DOMEs, community one-stop shop models established under LADDERS, which includes M for M, Alo Boy, G3VN and Glink, have been conducting communications activities that engaged workers at the factory with these matured community groups. The outreach workers who are members of those organizations created activities that provided more detailed information according to the needs of each factory worker they engaged with, answering their  questions and supporting them to utilize available and beneficial services from their respective DOME to help meet these employees specific health needs. Through this activity, these newly engaged workers are more familiar with the types of services provided by a DOME and building a relationship/trust with a particular DOME to further engage them to discuss various sexual health needs or issues. The DOME(s) assigned to specific employers continue to maintain their relationship with them in order to support ongoing activities and needs in which the DOME can help support to help newly diagnosed workers transition as clients to support on treatment or PrEP which are part of the strategic work to controlling HIV spread.

The sustained SAFE-ZONE campaign helps various workers in factory settings see the importance of health protection, especially sexual health. Bringing these services to the workplace also helps to address barriers of access which makes it more convenient for workers to utilize these health services, as well as providing information and connection to foster the utilization of these services among those who are most likely to benefit. This multi-stakeholder collaboration for convenient and effective SAFE-ZONE activities targeting factory workers should be considered for further documentation and institutionalization in the hope of building a healthy workforce for a sustainable and prosperous business and realizing the national policy of “Health for all”.

Figure 1. Shy as they might appear, these young workers quickly found themselves engaging in the interactive sessions delivered by charismatic MCs and guest speakers.

Figure 2. This SAFE ZONE event took place at the Thien Nam Elevator Manufacturing Factory in Binh Chanh industrial zone where 75% of workers are young men. Alo Boy DOME managed to provide nearly 100 participants with critical information about HIV, STIs, safe sex and PrEP, as well as services and key messages about health-seeking habits.

Figure 3. Workers at the Corsair Marine International shipyard were eager to participate in the SAFE-ZONE activity.


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