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Author Topic: Working  (Read 3070 times)

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Offline scaredom

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
« on: August 31, 2008, 10:54:44 AM »
I see on the board that a lot of people have had to go on disability. Is there anyone that has been able to maintain their job throughout? I am hoping that with earlier detection that I am able to continue on with my work. Do the new medications make that possible?

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,918
  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: Working
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 11:00:58 AM »
I was diagnosed in 12/93.  Became widowed in 1996 (lost husband to AIDS).  I have maintained a FT job throughout.

It all depends on the person.  I've been on meds since 1994.  My late husband chose not to take his.   :-\

~ Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline libvet

  • Member
  • Posts: 330
Re: Working
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2008, 11:11:54 AM »
They absolutely make that possible.  While my own case is anecdotal, when I was diagnosed, it was after I got sick in late October 1999.   I was pretty damned sick at the time (weighed 110lbs, pneumonia, esophageal candiasis).  I found out I had HIV, found a doctor who was experienced in treating it, got my first blood work back and got a diagnosis of advanced HIV disease (t-cells were at 22).  I had apparently been infected since about 1986 (a bit of detective work on my part that wasn't that difficult considering that I had a strange illness that year that had the hallmarks of seroconversion illness and it was shortly after having unprotected sex with my cheating ex boyfriend who died of HIV a couple of years later).

Anyhow I took a three month leave of absence from work (FMLA, short term disability), I went on Sustiva and Combivir and Septra and returned to work in February of 2000.  I continued to work that job until it outsourced in 2003.  Went back to school for retraining and got a job and been working full time ever since.

Other than my initial diagnosis period, there wasn't any time I was unable to work and that was with a late diagnosis.

So given my own case, it is perfectly possible to continue your career while having HIV.

Offline scaredom

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  • Posts: 23
Re: Working
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 11:42:19 AM »
Did your employer find out that you're HIV+?

Offline xyahka

  • Member
  • Posts: 799
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Working
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 11:57:32 AM »
My case does not applyt o the US since i live in Latin America, but i have been working since diagnosed without problem. In fact i have changed job 3 or 4 times since then and none of my bosses ever knew i was diagnosed poz.

It is very difficult your boss guess what's going on with your health unless they do something illegal or you tell them, when i had to meet a dr i always said it was for something else, nowadays i work with a Dr and when i feel bad i always tell them i have chronic gastritis and have to meet a dr for regular controls.

If you are careful with yourself there shouldn't be a need for go on disability, cause you will be able to perform your job well.

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,175
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Working
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2008, 12:23:03 PM »
Hey scaredom

If you were only exposed last year and start working with a doctor this year its quite likely you will avoid disability and continue to be able to work. 

Generally people don't wind up on disability unless their Tcell counts are so low (under 200) that they are likely to get opportunistic infections.  (In the US, this would mean these folks are defined as having AIDS).  Some people with low tcell counts get serious opportunistic infections and wind up in the hospital and on disability for a short or an extended period.

But if you work with a doctor to start meds on a timely basis, your Tcells will probably not drop low enough that you have AIDS or an OI and so its unlikely you will ever need to go on disability.

Be of good cheer

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%
2014 VL UD - 48
2015 VL 130 Moved to Triumeq

Offline LordBerners

  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: Working
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2008, 12:52:28 PM »
I'm unemployable in the US for reasons that have little to do with HIV, but so far I have not lost my sinecure in Siam, despite being a bit aidsy with a T cell count of 189 or so and an opportunistic infection (tuberculosis). 

There were definitely days I could barely drag myself up the stairs to my office, and certainly my colleagues were suspicious of my weight loss, but the only practical interference was constantly having to skip a day or two per week to go to Bangkok for doctor's appointments.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,045
Re: Working
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2008, 01:01:24 PM »
I have continued work for 15 years without interruption.
(I recently got outed for hiv in the workplace but as
my lawyer said they're a little late if they wanna hold that against me.)

Offline scaredom

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Working
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2008, 01:15:23 PM »
Can I ask about how they found out? Was it through your insurance?

Offline joemutt

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  • Posts: 1,045
Re: Working
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 01:18:34 PM »
Someone talked. To someone who tried to use it at her advantage,
that failed.
But now I think its for the better,
they will have to get used that poz people are able to hold their jobs.

Offline scaredom

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Working
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2008, 01:22:56 PM »
This is why I'm terrified to go to the doctor and use insurance.  This is going to destroy everything I have.

Offline joemutt

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,045
Re: Working
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2008, 01:30:58 PM »
It had NOTHING to do with insurance.
That's just scaredom.

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,918
  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: Working
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2008, 01:32:38 PM »
I have never disclosed my status in the workplace, even on initial paperwork to sign up for health care.  I use my diabetes as a cover, but if anyone were to ever find out and give me hell at work, I wouldn't leave without a fight....and an attorney.   ;)
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,113
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
Re: Working
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2008, 01:40:39 PM »
Have I worked?! After my AIDS diagnosis I completed two years of graduate school while working 25 hours a week. I have a full-time job working 12 hour shifts which I have had for 14 years. I have not called in sick more than twice a year (if I call in sick more than twice it affects my raise). I also currently have two part-time jobs, one working 15 hour shifts and the other 8. Plus I exercise at least 5 days a week. If you are lucky you will be able to work like dog until you're geriatric!

Offline LordBerners

  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: Working
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2008, 04:28:56 PM »
Someone talked. To someone who tried to use it at her advantage...

Classic tale.. lots o'backstabbing here in the Land of Smiles.  Though it is hard to see how causing the farang to be fired could help a Thai - they can't very well be hired as the token, can they?  Maybe the plot was to make the person who hired you look bad..
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,352
Re: Working
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2008, 06:10:23 PM »
I have responded to similar posts before but here it goes.

I was infected when I was a teen in high school in the early 80's. I still went through school and received multiple degrees including a M.S and recently another M.A (as well as various state and national credentials) I have worked and completely supported myself since I was 17. I worked in the schools for 10 years and I have worked in a private practice for over 3 years. Now my business is expanding and there is a possibility that I might step into management.  I told my employer that I had AIDS, since I was hospitalized for a month, 3 years ago and I told her that I wouldn't work in an environment that I couldn't be honest about my life. It didn't matter to her.

I've been close to death and  hospitalized 4 lengthy times. I didn't expect to live into my 20's or 30's but, hey, now I'll soon be 42.  I am relatively healthy today and the meds that are available now are wonderful.

I remember being where you are now. I remember living in fear and not knowing what to expect. But you have a better chance of living a full healthy life, possibly without the ups and downs with your health.

It's probably time to take care of your Well-being.
It's normal to feel all the negative feelings you are experiencing now. I hope you are able to build the support system you need to pull yourself out of the despair.

Good luck

Offline SoSadTooBad

  • Member
  • Posts: 252
Re: Working
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2008, 08:26:31 PM »
Only diagnosed in 2006 - likely infected for 3-4 years before that.  Have not missed a day of work - even right at the beginning when I had a t-cell count of 78.  I travel by air about 100,000 miles per year for my job, and if anything, being diagnosed has made me more passionate about success at work and in life.   

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: Working
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2008, 02:46:37 AM »
I work a job where I have to be highly productive and have a staff under me that must be as well.  I can tell you from experience that as long as you are healthy, the only thing that can stop you from carrying on as usual is fear. You have to overcome that fear. For me it was to educate myself about the virus and hang out here and read through threads of some of the good posters here.

Right now I work about 50-60 hours per week in a job that can be considered stressful. I have taken steps to remove as much of that stress as possible.  Recently, I have started jogging in the morning before work.  I find that to be very good for fighting stress. 

I started off with 112 t cells and started meds immediately. I do have to keep my status private.  That is not hard though as I am careful to mask my appointments as being related to my high blood pressure plus I am the boss so I don't have to tell my employees exactly where I am going.  Occassionaly, I have to pop a pill in the middle of a dinner party but there are many unnoticable ways of doing that. All in all, just take it easy, relax, know that there are good treatments available that work and live your life. 

Offline Jeff64

  • Member
  • Posts: 255
Re: Working
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2008, 04:30:32 PM »
I have never stopped working. I am thankful that I am still able to get up and go to work every day.



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