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Finding a Job
Sep 30, 2002

I just found out that my job will be moving out of state (NYC) by the end of the year. If I cannot find something within my firm, I will be unemployeed. Do you know of any employment agencies in NYC that help people with HIV find work. Also, if I am out for a while, what can I expcept with ADAP, medical coverage. I make close to 60 Grand. Do I make "too much money"?


Response from Ms. Breuer

Unless your ability to work is severely compromised by your health, there is no reason for you to think of yourself as a person with HIV looking for a job. You're a person looking for a job, someone with marketable skills and a good income history, who happens to have HIV. Lead with your skills and your work history. There is no need for your new employer to know your diagnosis.

If you have a gap between jobs, you will need to work with an AIDS service organization in your city to learn the answers to specific benefits questions. In general, when you leave the present job, make sure you have a HIPPA letter from your current employer (your HR person will know what it is--it simply states that you have been covered by health insurance at work for a specific period, and having it can nullify a pre-existing condition clause with your new employer).

If your health does interfere seriously with employment because of attendance or similar problems, then do seek out an employment agency that places people with HIV, but do not rely only on them. They have a hard time placing people, just as you would expect. There are usually a couple in NYC at any one time; please check with your local AIDS service organization for a referral.

Nope, you don't make "too much money." If you become unemployed, then you're unemployed, whatever your salary history. But I'm guessing you can skip the unemployment part and not have to learn all that stuff about state-sponsored benefits programs. Go out there and market yourself based on your work history and your successes! Your HIV is not the central fact about you; it's a detail.

Best of luck in your job search!

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