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AIDS at work
Feb 2, 2003

I am an office manager for a mid size company. Recently one of my co-workers advised me that she has full blown AIDS. I am devestated for her and I would like any advise you could give me on how to deal with this. I want to be as supportive as I can but I dread if and when this becomes public knowledge. How can I protect her?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Great question. The best thing you can do is to protect her confidentiality by disclosing this to NO ONE. There is no reason to do so. In addition, you could suggest to your human resources dept. that it would be a good idea for managers to know what to do if an employee has HIV, without linking it to the case you know about. Preventing discrimination is much easier than cleaning up after it. Above all, continue to treat her just as you have in the past. People living with HIV/AIDS often report that it helps a lot when so much in their life is changing to have someone who treats them just the same. Thank you for sharing your compassion with this forum.

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