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Author Topic: I know this has been talked about, but...  (Read 2748 times)

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Offline Bizmark33

  • Member
  • Posts: 60
I know this has been talked about, but...
« on: October 25, 2006, 12:33:21 PM »
Not to an extent that satisfies me, I guess.
       I am relatively new here (diagnosed just within the last two months). Had my first doctors visit and he wants me to start meds. I already have them, I am just waiting for the right time.
     I was fired from my last job (not sure EXACTLY why, but that's not relevant at this point). I have accepted a new job offer. All the jobs I do in my career require initial drug testing, which is fine, but they are also now requiring pre-employment physicals.
     If it was just tests to see if I can beend and stoop, and hae dexterity, that'd be one thing. Ya see, i am HIV+ and Hep B+. My wife works at the place I am supposed to go do a physical at in two weeks, and she said when she filled out the forms, it asks what medications you are on, and what diseases, and blah, blah, blah.
     Is it really my employers right to know what medication I am on? Is it really thier right to know if I am being treated for a disease? What are my rights if I choose not to disclose to them that I have HIV and Hep B? I had a problem at a previous employer who , when I was initially employed, drew bloodwork, and I had no idea what they were testinng for, but several months later the employee health nurse called to tell me that I had o immunity to Hep B, and that they wanted to test me for it. I had to go through a whole ordeal with them, and it was horrible. Being called into the bosses office, being called infront of a committed. It was horrible. I just do not want to go through al of that again. Not to mention, that word spread, and people knew.
     It is my body, and my right. My wife said that she put down the birth control pills she takes (to stay regular). WHY??? Why is thier business? I just don't understand, and I need to know, if I don't put down that I have HIV, can I be fired, or considered lying?
     It IS my employers employee health dept, and not a third party doing the 3 hour exam and such, so I am just nervous and scared. I had her call to ask what labs were drawn, and they told her just an MMR titer (I was kind of miffed when she told me she had no idea what they drew......I told her to always find out what they want to draw).
     I guess I am just scared. I don't feel like it is anyones right to know anything about me, so long as I am physically and emotionally able to preform the job.

Offline whizzer

  • Member
  • Posts: 390
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 09:17:05 PM »
What country do you live in?  It matters, since the laws regarding what employers can and cannot do vary a great deal.

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2006, 09:42:55 PM »
I had asked the same question of my case manager a few years ago...

Assuming you do live in the US, the potential employer does not have the right to know your HIV status.  Drug testing is very expensive, the prospective employer will pay the costs of the tests and the tests are limited to the drugs selected.

They usually test for recreational drugs.  A drug test may show a discrepancy in white blood cell count, if asked, you should respond with, "My doctor is aware of that and we are working on it."  In most cases a new employee has 90 day probationary period to show they can perform the job duties as expected.  For the first 90 days an employer has the right to terminate an employee for any reason.  After that probationary period the newly hired employee has the right to accept insurance if offered.

Accept that insurance, the cost of medications are very expensive as we already know and the insurance company is bound by confidentiality to not disclose your prescriptions.

In my case, I did not get the job because the potential employer was my health care provider.  I was granted the interview because I served on the Board of Directors for that non-profit facility and I pushed for the interview at the monthly meeting.  Another more qualified applicant was found before I got home from the interview.  I had the opportunity to throughly review my records and since I was attending a "Living With HIV" Support Group at the facility, Medicare was billed for 18 months as per my records, I was being treated for Clinical Depression.  I walked into the next "Living With HIV" Support Group meeting with a recent personality profile which showed leadership and management abilities but no depression.  Dr. Bruce was terminated for falsifying documents.

Whether or not you do get this position, do not give up.  Keep trying until you find the right employer because there is no real or percieved future in disability.  Have the best day


Offline Bizmark33

  • Member
  • Posts: 60
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2006, 10:15:33 PM »
Oh....I live in the united states.

     Yes, they test for recreational drugs, but I have heard that Sustiva can cause false positives for marijuana (even read it on AIDS.com on the about Sustiva part). I am waiting until AFTER the drug test to start my meds. I did do one drug test for an employer I will probably turn down the position for, but they did the drug test right there in front of me, takin my urine, and putting a dropper full into a little test strip thingy that had stripes in it for the different drugs, and the stripes all appeared on mine, so the gal said I was negative, and good to go. That was wierd. All of my other tests I have done in my life, they just took the sample, and did something with it later. Here, they did it right there in front of you. I'm sure SOME people test positive, weather false or true, it would be embarrasing.
     Anyhow, yeah, my concern was about where they have on the form at the physical for employment where you are supposed to put down your medications, and any illnesses. I guess that's my main question. If they ask, and you don't put it down, is not putting down I have HIV and am under the doctors care for it, AM I in fact lying, and can I be fired, or not hired for that?

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 02:27:40 AM »
I have never heard of a test being conducted in front of the potential employee.  I suppose I was expecting a lab test because these tests cost over $400.00 at 1994 prices.  as a disabled person with an AIDS diagnosis, I have not been in contact with many people who do this for a living.

On the part about the questionaire and list of medications, I would (if I was in your position) to check no medications but do list a General Practicioner as your persional physician.  You have only diagnosed HIV+ recently and there will not be much of a paper trail.  You can easily test positive in 90 days after hiring date and go directly on meds at that time (or before if you can get the state to pay for the cost of treatment and care, plus meds.

Sustiva is a very expensive drug as well as most HIV meds.  If you go to my website www.Commission-on-AIDS.org and click on the SERVICES tab, you can follow through to click on Medications and find a current list of some HIV medications and their cost per month.  I do not know if Sustiva can cause a false positive for Marijuana.  If that should come up, I would suggest calling your Case Manager and consider a consultation with an Attorney.

Not knowing how you are with interviews, I would like to give some more advice...

As a retired designer of safety programs, I have taught companies over the last 10 working years before AIDS, the fastest growing cost in doing business today (next to direct payroll) is workers' compensation insurance.  That cost is driven by experience of the employer and overall performance of other companies in the same industry type.

In order to remain competitive and continue to provide jobs and services, a company must control these costs.  One way of controlling these costs is to hire employees with a committment to safety in the workplace.

An employer also likes to see excitment in the person being interviewed.  At your interview, take some control and discuss your committment to safety in the organization, relax a bit and have some fun with the interview.

If you need some info on safety issues by department, I have a computer full of three year custom programs, discussing potential hazards by department in about 9 industry types.  I keep current on certain issues and this is one of them.  Have the best day

One of my current projects is as a founding member of the Community Reconnect Task Force, a subcommittee of the Sonoma County Commission on AIDS.  Several of us living with HIV/AIDS are trying to help others living in our county to plan the rest of their lives in areas such as job placement, education and volunteering with the local ASO's to help cut costs in helping others and hopefully get many people living with the virus to once again become self-sufficient.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 02:32:17 AM by Sonomabeach »

Offline Christine

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,069
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 02:07:54 PM »
When my husband started his job (I am under his insurance) we had to fill out a form which asked for meds and illnesses. This was pre-HIPPA.

I filled out the form honestly, had the doctor fill out the form, then mailed it directly to the insurance company. It did not go through the HR department.

Before filling it out, I would suggest talking to a case worker at an ASO, or checking out Thebody.com's employment/ insurance section. HIPPA provides protection for people. All your employer needs to know is that you are physically able to do your job. Other than that, nothing else is their business, unless you choose to disclose to them.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline poet

  • Member
  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 05:47:22 PM »
What I would caution here is that apparently the new federally required forms you are asked to sign about disclosures essentially open the door to whomever for whatever.  An employer may be concerned about hiring new people who would impact on the company's insurance premiums.  As we all know, lab work, etc. is readily available to insurance companies to look at which is why people who are hiv positive are advised to try to pay for certain things which might appear somewhere before they are hired just so that no one could pick up the tests.  Yes, the results of the test might be hidden, but certain tests suggest certain conditions and this is what they are looking for.  These days your home insurance policy is based in part on your FICO score, like that has something to do with whether a storm might damage your home. 

If you not only haven't taken but haven't filled prescriptions for your meds, the only source for those prescriptions would be your primary care provider and that file should be closed.  As I posted elsewhere, legally potential employers can't access certain things, but that, often, is for you to prove somehow that they did and that the sole reason for your not being hired was what they, illegally, got ahold of.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline cjmchgo

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • Dx 1992
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 06:41:01 PM »
wow, listen to this.
I have been + for many years, started taking Atripla about 1 1/2 months ago.
I was recently hired at a new job and this morning I went in for my pre-employment physical. I had read about the sustiva in Atripla possibly causing a false positive for marijuana but from what I read, it was rare.
I told them on the medical questionair that I wasn't on any prescription drugs and I had no health conditions, and this questionair was EXTENSIVE, they wanted to know everything!
Then, they did a 12-panel urine test right in front of me. And of course, I test + for marijuana. So she said, are you sure you haven't smoked any marijuana? I said no and you could see in her eyes she thought I was lying.
I was lying about my health status but not about doing any drugs.
So now they are sending my urine out to do a confirmatory test. My doctor said it will test negative then and it will be over.
But, I just don't feel like I should have to tell potential employers that I have HIV or what prescription medications I am on.
If I'm not breaking any laws or doing surgery on someone why do they have to know that???
April/May, 1992: Infected at age 21
Aug 31, 1992: Tested positive
Sep 8, 1992 T-cells 977, 43%
1993-1998: T-cells 675-800
1999-2001: T-cells 500-600
2000-2004: T-cells 425-525 23% VL 500-2000
2005-2008: T-cells 275-375, 20%, VL 950-2500
December 2008: Started Atripla
Dec 2009: T-cells 637, 33%, VL UD
Dec 2010: T-cells 544, 35%, VL UD
Dec 2011: T-cells 596, 41%, VL UD
January 2, 2012 stopped Atripla (CNS issues)
January 4, 2012 started Isentress/Truvada
March 25, 2014 Still on I/T t-cells 673, VL undetectable

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,288
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 08:05:39 PM »
For my CDLs I had random drug testing all the time. If you get a positive test on your drug test due to Sustiva all you need is a letter from your doctor and that will take care of it. Once your letter is on file you won't have any problems with drug testing.

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,119
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
Re: I know this has been talked about, but...
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 09:03:45 PM »
If I'm not breaking any laws or doing surgery on someone why do they have to know that???

One reason is that if you have a medical condition when you are hired then you can't sue them for obtaining that condition due to an accident at work.


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