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URGENT!!! do i disclose my HIV status during my pre-eimployment physical????
May 14, 2006

HELP!!! Changing jobs and they offered me a position based on passing my pre-employment physical. I will be working in a small hospital that is self insured. On the form it asked the standard things like allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, etc. BUT THEN is the "please list any other conditions not listed here" and finally "list all of the medications you are currently taking." I do not want to lie but if i tell the truth can the not hire me???? PLEASE RESPOND ASAP!!!! I really need your answer soon!!!! How should i respond on the form. Thank you so much in advance!!!

Response from Ms. Breuer

Most pre-employment physicals have as their purpose making sure you can fog a mirror. This is an especially intrusive one.

The fact that they ask doesn't mean you have to answer. For example, the medications question can be answered, "I do not take any medications that would interfere with my ability to fulfill the essential functions of my job." That's really what they need to know. For the other one, I advise answering in a similar vein: "I do not have any condition which would prevent me from fulfilling the essential functions of my job." If they press, ask, "Why?" Don't say more. Just ask why. Then ask about how your medical privacy is protected by this provider of medical services, for Pete's sake!

They do not really need to know this stuff. They ask because they want to know. Your privacy is yours only if you hold onto it.

The question is not truth vs. lying. I would never advise lying on any application of any kind. The question is need to know vs. wanting to know.

Please let us know how you do with this. I am not aware of anyone who has lost a job at the pre-employment physical stage because that person protected medical confidentiality. It's okay (if they really press) to let them know that you're working hard to balance their need to know you can do the job with your need to protect your own private medical information--and let them start the next paragraph.

Be aware if you write back that your email address is blocked, so we have no way of knowing when someone writes back except if the person refers in the body of the email to the previous correspondence.

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