hiv meds and hiv disclosure
Jul 31, 2003
I have a general question. Although I've been told employers in my state can't ask directly hiv status, the emplyoyment occ health form asks what meds i'm on. since i ommitted my hiv meds, technically i lied. therefore when i got injured at work, i felt i couldn't reveal that then either, making things worse. now i risk losing everything, WC,job, ect. Next time, if I ever get a chance i will disclose. basically if they can ask what meds you take, they will find out you're hiv from them anyway.
Response from Ms. Breuer
There are several important points in your general question. First, you're right that you put your coverage at risk if you lie on an insurance form. Never a good idea.
Second, you make an assumption that just because they ask what meds you're on, you have to answer with the names of the meds. Usually that (sloppy, poorly-worded, too-general) question is fishing for meds that would interfere with your ability to perform your job. You can give the form to your doc, ask your doc to fill in something about treatment for a chronic infection that is under control, have your doc sign in, and turn it in that way. You preserve your confidentiality, they know that you can still operate heavy machinery, for example.
Third, choosing to disclose based on this bad experience is not necessarily your only choice. You still have privacy, but only if you choose to protect it, as described above.
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