Question

Q. Does Florida test for HIV to be a firefighter, and if positive do they have to hire you if you are best candidate? Can't get an answer anywhere and want to go to fire school but I have HIV.

Answer

Federal law and most states prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities, including HIV (because it can cause physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities). These laws are clear: A person cannot be a disqualified from employment simply because of HIV, if otherwise qualified with the necessary skill, experience, or education.

A prospective employer may, however, make a conditional job offer based on results of a medical exam. The exam may include an HIV test, but the job may not be denied if the results are not job-related. For instance, a prospective truck driver may be denied the job if the medical exam reveals that she is blind. The healthy firefighter with HIV who can perform the job may not legally be refused the position.

Good luck with your schooling and career choice.