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When changing jobs, when is HIV disclosure necessary
Sep 10, 1999

I'm thinking of changing jobs to one at a different company. I am HIV+, on protease inhibitors, and responding perfectly. I am able to perform my current job at "exceeds expectations" levels. I know that changing insurance coverage should be no issue since I've been covered continuously at my current job for a number of years. Here's my question: Am I required to inform a potential new employer that I am HIV+? Or do I just go follow through with the routine employment activities and identify my HIV status during the standard per-employement physical. Ususally, that physical occurs after accepting the new job and leaving your old one. I am concerned that I could be turned down for the new job after resigning from the old one.

Response from Ms. Breuer

Whoa! Please do not assume that you have to reveal your HIV status under any of these circumstances! You have stated the only valid criterion for your new job: you are able to perform your current job at "exceeds expectations" levels. You have no obligation to advise your new employer of your HIV status, your health insurance will probably be seamless because (I assume)you're moving from a group plan to a group plan, and you don't have to identify your HIV status in the pre-employment physical unless there is a written rule that requires you to know and state your HIV status for job reasons. Are you going to work as a phlebotomist? A surgeon? In a hospital providing invasive procedures to patients? If not, then your HIV status is confidential. A pre-employment physical must be the same for all candidates for the same position, and if others are not screened for HIV, you should not be either. You could only be turned down for the new job if the physical uncovers a reason why you are physically incapable of performing the essential functions of the new job.

Congratulations, and enjoy your new job!

Nancy Breuer



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