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What to do before positive results? re insurance
Aug 9, 2012

Hi, I'm going to get tested this week, but I'm almost 100% sure I'm HIV positive. I am of course very concerned about my ex-husband and current boyfriend, but also about my hospital job, medical- home,-and life insurance. I only want to notify the necessary parties of my HIV status, so I'm intentionally going 2 counties away to get tested. Is there anything I need to know about protecting my job or my current insurance before getting tested and having it automatically reported to the health department in my county? I want help, but I'm terrified of finding out and just as afraid of having other people know my status. Thanks in advance

Response from Mr. Chambers

It appears you already have health and life insurance. If they come from work, you can keep some health insurance if you terminate through COBRA and HIPAA programs after that. Group life insurance is convertible to individual coverage.

If the insurance is private, you need to be sure you are never late with a premium payment.

As far as your job goes, I doubt there will be a problem with it unless your job involves any invasive procedure. If you are a nurse or phlebotomist, you should follow extra precautions by avoiding blood sticks and double-gloving.

In most states, you cannot be terminated because of your (supposed) infection although there are some exceptions based on the state you are in and the degree of invasive procedures performed in your job.

If you do find out you are positive, you need to read up on your Employee Handbook or consult a legal services group that deals with HIV to see whether or not you are obligated to notify them. Als, please follow the counselor's advice about learning more and getting some counseling. Many AIDS Service Organizations provide information and counseling, including group therapy, for the newly infected. Take advantage of it.

Good luck, Jacques



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