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What Happens to Your Career?

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I was curious if some people would be willing to comment on how being positive has affected their career as compared to before the diagnosis. Specifically, I am curious as to experiences people have had such as are they still working at the same job (or an equivalent job in terms of hours and responsibility) say 3 years later. My brother recently tested positive and he is a very career oriented (and decently succesful in the work world) person. I am just concerned that the illness will cause a tremendous amount of additional depression if it will cause him to no longer be able to work. Basically, I am curious as to whether people find that they were able to continue working as usual, or is the stress of the illness too much to be able to keep up a full career even if your general health and HIV lab numbers stay good..... I hope I am able to be a source of support for my bro throughout this as he has always been the pillar of strength for me and he has been there for me over the years when I have needed support.

Hello Warren, it is Eldon. Welcome to the forums where you will find a lot of love, encouragement and support that you can add to your current support system.

When I found out in 1990, I continued to work as usual up until August 2005 where I needed to take a break from the workforce.

Your brother will do fine as long as he takes his medicine as prescribed by his doctor, eat well, get plenty of rest, and keep the stress levels down in his life.

Dear Warren: I found out I was positive in July, 1994 when, at the time, I was working as a social worker/case manager for one hospital in the city in which I live. In November of that year, I moved to a Level II medical center where I have worked, also as a case manager, since.  When I was being interviewed for the position, I had to meet with the Employee Health r\Representative and had to fill out a questionnaire.  The question came up about the medications I was on and I told her. She asked if I had been exposed and I replied that I had.  It's never been a problem for me and I decided to divulge my status because #1: it's really part of who I am and could have affected my work history and #2: I didn't want to lie on the application and that come back to bite me in the ass.

Anyway, fortunately, I haven't had to miss any work because of my HIV status although I did have to have a cardiac cath i 1999 and my spleen removed in 2005 (which may have been related to the meds). 

It's all in how you manage the stress and how important your life outside of work is to your overall health.  chris

Hello Warren,

 I was diagnosed positive in 1985, and fortunately was able to continue doing the same work that I started in in 1973. I continued in that line of work until, 1997. At that time, I was still very much healthy, but I was getting burned out in that job. ( which by the way, was a quite a physical job)

In 1997, I started working in apartment renovation, and maintenance. Once again, this was quite the physical job, but I enjoyed it. I became quite ill in 2003. I still managed to hang onto that job, for one more year, but in October of 2004, neuropathy was kicking in, and I was unable to be on my feet, and take on a lot of those job responsibilities any longer. Another position opened up at work ( perfect timing) and I grabbed it in a heartbeat. Its not exactly what I would like to do,( took a major cut in pay) but its a job, it pays the bills, the benefits are great, and it gives me the INSURANCE I need , to help pay for these costly medications, and other medical things that arise. And I certainly hope, that I can hang onto it for a while  !!


Hi Warren and welcome.

AIDS sidelined my career, but that does not necessarily mean bad news for anyone recently diagnosed as positive.   My diagnosis was over 19 years ago, and things were much different then.   With the drugs we have today, there is a good possibility that many may not ever experience an O.I. or major illness related to AIDS, so no reason for them to alter their career plans.

Believe me, if you have a career and/or a good job, hang onto it.   Being on disability is definitely not anything to strive for. It is not something to treat lightly.  I would give anything to have back the years that AIDS robbed from my life (and career) but I am trying to make the best of a bad situation. 

I don't for one second intend to sound ungrateful for my life and the current state of my health, because I am MOST thankful for the drugs that saved me.  But I told a friend yesterday, who has been dealing with this for about as long as I have, that I honestly am more tired of being poor than I am of being sick.  To some of you, that may make no sense at all, but I know some will know exactly what I'm talking about.



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