The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Workplace and Insurance IssuesWorkplace and Insurance Issues
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Returning to Work & Disclosure
Jul 29, 2004

Hello Nancy. I have made a marvelous recovery from my AIDS diagnosis two years ago and am considering a return to full-time work. I'm currently receiving ssdi benefits.

What obligations do I have, if any, to disclose my health status to a potential employer? The only accomodations I need is time to go to doctor visits, which aren't much different than any other employee. Personally I would prefer to disclose my status, but I don't want it to negatively impact my potential employer's willingness to hire me.


Response from Ms. Breuer

Oh, thank you, thank you for asking BEFORE you disclose.

You have no obligation to disclose your diagnosis to your employer.

If you do need time to make medical visits during working hours, then I suggest letting the prospective employer know that you need that accommodation, backing it up with a brief note from your health care provider. This alerts the employer to the fact that you're being truthful about the need, not just making it up. (Yes, I've seen that done, for months on end.) Make it clear that you understand that you'll need to make up the time.

Here's what the note could say: [Your name] is under my care for a chronic condition and must be seen in our offices every [whatever interval it is]. I request that you accommodate [your name] condition to allow continuity of care. [Your name] is otherwise able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.


If the doc is part of a well-known HIV practice, or an infectious disease practice, ask that the note be written on more generic stationery, such as a hospital letterhead. The "essential functions" language alerts the employer to the fact that you are under the protection of the ADA.

An interviewer might probe further as a result of this request, so be prepared with generic answers. "My condition is under control, and does not interfere with my work," for example. If I were you, I would not raise the subject unless you receive an offer. Only then does the accommodation become relevant.

I truly wish you well!

Recent Question Regarding HIPAA
HIV testing of restaurant employee

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint