Can I be a poz Paramedic?
Sep 22, 2004
I was an EMT-B at age 16 and when I was infected, I dropped the dream of becoming a paramedic because of my status. I'm 26 now and that dream and passion is still there.
I am having a hard time finding information on any legal or other challenges I may face.
Being HIV+, can I become licensed and employed as a Paramedic? Do I have to tell anyone about my status? What if I am asked?
I apologize because that's really three questions. Can you tell me what I can find these answers?
Response from Ms. Breuer
You just found 'em. You have no obligation to disclose because the job does not require you to perform blind, invasive procedures. You can be a paramedic. You'll be held to the same standard every other paramedic is held to: observing universal precautions, to protect yourself as much as to protect others.
No, you do not have to tell anyone of your status. If you're asked, reply with a question: "Why do you ask? What are you concerned about?" Then engage the person in a conversation about how HIV is actually transmitted. Your employer and your co-workers do not have a right to your confidential medical information. Your privacy is yours to protect. If they hand you a medical questionnaire when you apply for a job, be prepared: read the many, many other answers on this site concerning how to handle a medical questionnaire.
I wish you well! We need good paramedics. Don't let that dream fade.
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