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Disclosure issue in school districts?
Mar 24, 2004

Not sure if anybody would know about this but...

I own a business doing electrical wiring and currently have an opportunity to get hired as an on staff person at a high school.

I was with someone last august and have since had 3 blood tests, 2 orasure tests and a pcr test that were all negative for hiv.

I'm still having some weight loss though in arms, legs, and face and this has me still worried about it.

My worry is giving up my business with which I have control of and pay my own benefits and nobody knows my health issues. To go to a school where I would be making more money and have paid benefits, but say that HIV does turn up a few months down the road or something, and then the school's health coverage would have to pay for that and then they might find out and fire me. Then I've lost the business and contracts and screwed myself up in my new job as well...

Is there any law that says I would have to tell a school my HIV status? Just by the school's health plan paying for my health coverage/meds, would they know I'm HIV positive, or is this considered confidential info?

I'm thinking ahead of my current negative results because I don't want to not think about this and then have it bite me on the arse...

Response from Ms. Breuer

Please locate the brakes!

All those negative HIV tests since August are telling you something important. It's highly unlikely that you have HIV. The vast majority of tests are valid at 3 months. You can put your weight down on them at six months. People who re-test 12 months after an exposure are especially careful and just want to put a definitive period at the end of the sentence.

Have you seen a health care provider about your symptoms? They're probably from something else, and it would be smart to determine what that is.

Please make your decision about whether to work for a school district based on the pros and cons of working for the school district. Learn what you can about the benefits package as part of your listing the pros and cons. Unless it's a VERY small district, they are unlikely to know who is using their plan for which diagnoses. If their plan is well-managed, they receive usage reports that simply tell them how much each feature of the plan is being used by their employees to what dollar level, but without any identifying information about any employee, whether it's HIV or toenail fungus. You can find out which insurance companies provide the district's coverage and can call the insurance companies directly to address your concerns about what level of detail they give the district, all without identifying yourself except to say that you're a prospective employee.

No, if for some reason you were ever to seroconvert to HIV-positive, you would NOT have to tell your employer, whoever that may be. Your medical information is confidential. And if they should learn your status, it would be against the law for them to fire you because of it.

You are so smart to think about possible outcomes if you were to test positive. I hope you'll take all this energy and invest it in deciding you'll remain HIV negative so that you never have to cross the bridges your mind is building for you.

I wish you well. Now off to the doc to deal with that weight loss issue.

Ryan White Funds
long term coverage

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