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Informing HR managers of HIV status
Mar 26, 2003

I've recently tested positive for HIV and CMV retinitis. Should I disclose this information to my Human Resources manager? What are the benefits/draw backs to doing so?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Please read some of the questions and answers on this site about confidentiality and disclosure. You are under NO obligation to disclose your status to your employer, and should carefully weigh the pros and cons as you think about this. Even if you need reasonable accommodation at some point, you can negotiate that without revealing the diagnosis if you wish to guard your privacy.

The thing about privacy is that once you've given it up, you can't get it back. There are far more workplace stories with poor outcomes than good ones concerning disclosure. You'll see that as you peruse the questions and answers here under that category. Those real examples are better than anything I could write as an overview.

The decision is yours. Please do not disclose without reading all you can on the Internet about confidentiality and disclosure.

Here's the best question I can ask you about disclosing to HR: What's your goal? What do you want to achieve? Unless you have a clear, constructive, low-risk answer to that question, please don't disclose.

My best to you.

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