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What Happens to Your Career?

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Hello Alan, it is Eldon. I KNOW what you are talking about.

Welcome Warren:

Well, I had a very successfull career that began to slide over the last 5 years.  I blamed it on an ugly divorce and the distractions.  After surviving heart failure in 2003, When I was FINALLY diagnosed last year I was overcome by dementia.  My CD4's were 21 and VL over a million.  I nearly died.  I am on disability now, but look forward to going back to work.  The lesions are healing and I am thinking clearer than I have in years.

I guess the sooner you catch this little bugger, the better you are off as far as maintaining your normal lifestyle.

Thanks for all of the responses!


Hi Warren,

I can't tell you how much I hate it when people ask this question.  But it is a valid question and is sincere, I feel like responding.  

Each of us are different as are our employers.  I have met people who could not work anymore as in a Psyche Nurse who may be bitten by a patient/client and pass the virus on to the patient/client.  I remember a woman who just graduated from Respiratory Tech training and was not allowed to work in her chosen field.  I have also know people whose employers provided a cot so that person could get some rest when needed.

I excelled in my field and was promoted to Vice President, produced a radio talk show, became chief designer of our product line and made partner within 6 months after my HIV + diagnosis.  The Governor of California was a guest on my show as were the movers and shakers of the Southern California workers' comp broker and agents.  I had HIV and the world by the short curlies at the same time.

Two years later, there was a hospitalization and an AIDS diagnosis.  My first visitors were the firms attorneys.  The nation's front runner in workers' comp reform could not take a chance of an employee going out on a claim.  I was bought out or fired same thing.

Now, living with HIV, we have to continuously re-invent ourselves.  As I was in an isolation ward, I called for my lap top and began the best work of my life.  I would get out of bed, put on my mask, I kind of looked like Donald Duck with that orange mask on but I was visiting the Risk Manager of the hospital and started designing an industry specific injury prevention program for the medical center industry.

Over the past 10 years, I have completed a hospitality safety program, small government entity program, large government safety program, stress programs, workplace violence, self-esteem, wine/agriculture safety programs.  Basically every industry type there is, I have designed a program for.  I was told I was brilliant by the largest employer in California, told welcome to the company by the 5th largest commercial line brokerage firm in the US and no company will hire me or purchase my product lines.

Recently, I started the design of a sales web site to offer off-the-shelf safety programs to small companies with fewer than 100 employees.  I hope to finish that site by the beginning of next year.  Industrial Safety has seasons.  Ninety percent of all companies re-rate their wc insurance in January or July and many go into cost shock just prior to their normal anniversary date.

There is no cut and dry on what happens to a persons career.  It is hard enough just finding out we are HIV+ and then to try and keep our jobs too?  It really depends on the ability of the individual to continue working and the company culture.  Have the best day

Hi Warren,
I found out that I'm HIV positive in 1996...and continued my studies...
Few years I work in NGO GOD (on english-Generation response to drugs)-we work with actual and ex drug addicts and PLWHA (people who live with hiv/aids)...
Also I work on radio in contact program where we(my friend who is also hiv positive and me) talk about drug and hiv/aids problems and talk with listeners who call us about those problems-drugs and hiv/aids-majority of them have those problems...
On this way I made connection with my "illness" and job.... ;)


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