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Background checks and applying for jobs
Jan 14, 2005

This is the second time I have asked this question (but got no answer the first time). I moved to New York State earlier this year from Massachusetts and am looking for a full-time, permanent job. Can a potential employer find out my HIV status or what medications I take, etc. (via my medical history) during a background check? I know that HIPPA is in place to protect this information and I read the consent forms allowing them to do a background check on me when applying for a job and it does not mention health information at all, but, I'm still suspicious. Is this something I need to worry about? Is there any way that they can get the information that I am HIV+ or any of my health information (without me giving them written consent to do so)? Please let me know, I'm very anxious about this and am having a problem finding a full-time, permanent job (which I never have before in my life) and it is making me start to worry and wonder. Thank you.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Difficulty in finding a job could certainly arouse your suspicions, but your medical history is not easy to obtain for a prospective employer--yet. (Be vigilant as this Congress begins to chip away at privacy protections, and get ready to email your congressperson, often and clearly!) A background check will reveal convictions, bankruptcies, that sort of thing, but not your HIV status. The only way they can learn your status is through you telling them.

On Hold!...what next?....
On Hold...what next?..

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