HIV-Positive and Applying for Nursing Jobs in CA

Question

In California, is there a way to legally avoid disclosure of HIV status during a healthcare employer's medical exam after accepting a job as a nurse? I don't want an employer that has hired me to take a job away because of a violation in policy. Thank you.

Answer

Unless you are doing invasive procedures, there is no reason you cannot be a nurse and be HIV+. As the transmission of HIV has become better understood, the legal prohibitions on types of work have been drastically reduced to virtually none.

Since all medical personnel are trained in universal precautions, they not only protect the care giver from infections by patients, but protect the patient as well.

I am concerned, however, about your statement not wanting your employer to know your status. You should not lie during either the application process or during any pre-employment physical exam. Lying is grounds for termination. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are prohibited from requiring a physical exam until AFTER a firm job offer is made. The results of the exam can only determine whether or not you can perform the job duties, and being HIV+ will not affect that.

Good luck, Jacques