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Work in medical field with HIV?
Apr 14, 2004

My partner is HIV+, and has recently gone back to school to become a medical assistant. Doing well in school, but he is now wondering: Can potential employers in the medical field ask him his HIV status? If so, can they deny him a position due to his HIV status? Thanks for a great forum to ask the many questions on our minds in a safe environment!

Response from Ms. Breuer

Please check out the numerous questions and answers in this forum about HIV-positive nurses, to get an idea of the shape of the playing field on this issue. Direct questions about HIV or any other disability are not legal. The appropriate question is whether the applicant has any condition that would prevent her/him from fulfilling the essential functions of the job. Your partner's response to that question would be, "No." To deny him a position based on HIV status would be discriminatory. Obviously, people with HIV who work in medical settings usually are barred from performing blind invasive procedures--those rules are set by local hospital boards, not by some national oversight group--but I don't believe that would define the work of a medical assistant.

So your partner's next step is to read all the answers here about how to apply for a job in a medical setting with HIV. There are many, and they can save him some grief.

Thanks for the comment about the safe environment. It matters a great deal to us that we maintain that.



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