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Looking for work
Nov 9, 2000

I am looking for a job, about to gradate from college soon. I am HIV+, and have been receiving benefits through the state. I have had several interview, but after doing a background check they always seem to not hire me. I was thinking that maybe they have found out my HIV status through the background check and decided not to hire me. Is this possible?

Response from Ms. Gabriel

An employer may not inquire about medical information prior to extending a conditional offer of employment. Your medical information is private and, without permission, the state would be prohibited from disclosing it to a prospective employer. If, through the interview process, you are being asking questions about a medical diagnosis you are not obligated to provide that information -- and I would suggest that you don't answer. You may be asked if you have a medical disability that would prevent you from performing the essential functions of the job. If you do not currently have any limitations at this time, the answer is "no."

Please check out the Workplace Resource Center at the National AIDS Fund website ( some publications that would very useful to you as you embark on your professional life. Good luck in your job search.

Lynne Gabriel

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