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How to answer pre employment question
Jul 21, 2003

Hello, Recently I decide to change careers, since I am HIV+ it took allot of financial wrangling, but I made it work. I decided that while I am in school to take my CNA (I am currently pursing my RN). I passed my class and took my tests; my question revolves around a form for the WA. State Dept. of Health and the application for registration as a Nursing assistant. The question states: Do you have any medical condition which in any way impairs or limits your ability to practice your profession with reasonable skill and safety? If yes please explain. The form goes on to say "Medical Condition" includes physiological, mental or psychological conditions or disorders, such as, but not limited to orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing implants, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, HIV DISEASE, tuberculosis, drug addiction and alcoholism.

I asked my Doctor about this question incase I needed her to write me a note of some sort (My viral load has been undetectable for over a year).

She said the answer to that question is no, and she said it was extremely insulting to ask.

I also talked with my case worker and he said the answer to the question would be no.

I am worried about answering this and wonder what your input would be.

Regards, Ron

Response from Ms. Breuer

Ron, If the question is tied to insurance coverage, there is great risk in lying. Lies that later are discovered can lead to your being liable for costs of the premiums and payments made to providers for your care.

If it isn't linked to insurance coverage, it's just an overall crummy question. I encourage you to respond "see attached" and have your doc write a note explaining that you are under her care for an infectious disease that is fully under control with medication, and you are fully able to fulfill the essential functions of the job. The fact that an employer asks a question doesn't mean you have to turn yourself inside out to answer it.

Yup, it is insulting. And dumb. Squash it with a doctor's note.

Can I go into nursing being HIV+?

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