HIV & Government Security Clearance

Question

I am currently unemployed, and living in the metro DC area where there are a good number of "defense" companies and contrators that are doing a lot of hiring, but most all of the jobs require different levels of government security clearance (e.g. Top Secret, Clearance for access to classified info, etc). Most of the job advertisements say, "Applicant must have, or be able to obtain Top Secret clearance" - or something like that. By all accounts, not only is the application for security clearance extremely invasive, but the background checks conducted by the government are extensive and include checking into ones medical history. Does anyone know if having HIV automatically disqualifies me from obtaining security clearance from the federal government? I've looked high and low for info, and the whole process seems quite mysterious with no answers. Aside from this clearance issue, I'm qualified for many of the jobs, and I would like to apply, but I would hate to get hired on condition that I be able to obtain clearance, only to have it backfire in my face after disclosing such confidential information. It would help to know ahead of time whether HIV is a deal breaker for security clearance jobs, and save myself the time, energy, and embarrassment. Any input? Thank you in advance.

Answer

I've checked with several lawyers on this one. None of them is aware of any HIV-related restrictions on domestic work, but HIV could well be a security clearance problem for a job requiring work outside the U.S. They all suggested that you target jobs that would keep you in the U.S. I wish you well, and hope you are able to get the kind of job you want.