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Author Topic: HIV and job  (Read 1470 times)

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Offline jasonpoz12

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
HIV and job
« on: September 10, 2006, 06:06:05 PM »
Hi everyone,

I have been on the forum for almost 3 months. I am not an active member, but I do read the forum every day and learn so many things from the forum. I asked the question ďCD4 only 5, can I survive.Ē before and got lots of helps. I had a severe allergy on my first regime (Sustiva and Truvada). Currently I am on my second regime (Reyataza, Norvir and Truvada). I have been on the second regime for about one month and I am doing well now.

My health generally is OK even with low cd4. I am still working full time in USA. I am really worried about my job now. I am working in Technology Area and my work performance is very good. My company is small company so I am worried that my boss may find out my status from the Insurance monthly report and fire me by using other reasons. Since it is a small company, the cost of my meds will have a big affection in the premium in next year and I feel so sorry for that. But I still need to work so that my family will have money to live on. I have kids, if I lose the job and can not find a new one since my POZ status. My kids will have to live in a poor life. Thinking about this I feel very sad and anxious.

My boss still didnít come to talk with me and I will not tell my boss first. Now I am just working until the thing happens. I like to know how your guys deal with the difficulty with your own experience. If you donít like to expose yourself and want to give me some advices, please PM me.   

Thank you very much.

Jason

Offline kentb

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2006, 06:24:17 PM »
Jason, you don't say where you are working (i.e.the city) but the simplest maybe too simple advice is to consider looking for another job doing the same type of work you do currently but with a much larger employer as this will have less impact on the overall health costs of the employer.  Yes it would be illegal for your current employer to terminate you for the HIV but we all know that another excuse could easily be used.  You indicate in your post that you couldn't get another job because of the HIV??  You are not required to disclose your medical history in order to get another job, even if you apply at an employer where they offer group healthcare you should be able to enroll with only your name, address, dob, and ssn.  Good Luck,

Kent

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2006, 06:57:37 PM »
well i don't have much to say except as far as you feeling sadness and anxiety about a job loss scenario that hasnt happened and hopefully will never happen, i would suggest this: don't overextend yourself to your bosses or co-workers as some sort of superman-esque precaution against scenarios that might never happen.

if overtime is *not* a current area of concern for you, it still might be a good idea to give advance thought on it because OT, fatigue, stress, health are very intertwined and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure .....and the future is anyone's guessbeing scared of job loss can make people do crazy things, e.g., extreme overextension with overtime to augment feelings of job security. if you ever feel feelings like that, know that OT can actually work against HIV+ people , in essence imploding and wrecking the whole strategy.  don't let fear corner you into making adverse choices.  i hope this helps a little. keep us posted please

kent, i *think* jasonpoz meant finding a new job would be too much stress for someone with hiv, leading to adverse effects on health

in my case i was always asked to work OT and i would say yes 50% of the time. when that dropped to 20%, then to 10% guess what? the bosses were majorly pissed and viewed me as some kind of freak just because i had the nerve to say no instead of yes.  can you believe them?  >:(  >:(  jerk-offs!  >:( other employees could have been asked to work OT but i was the bosses' favorite target.whatever - those losers.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 07:39:36 PM by allopathicholistic »

Offline poobear

  • Member
  • Posts: 112
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2006, 08:44:52 PM »
Jason,
     First I am sorry that you are feeling anxiety over this issue in which many of us do.  From what I know and have experienced this is what I can Tell you, it is illegal for an employer to fire you for being HIV+.  Also it is illegal for a health insurance company to disclose any information on your health problems, or how much they are paying for medicine for you etc. to your employer.  Of coarse there are crooked people in the world.  What I would suggest is that you write down everything so you have a leg to stand on if they do try and fire you for other reasons.  For example write down any days you have been late, if you took a sick day, copy all doctors notes for absentisms, if there was any conflict with a colleague or supervisor.  Anything that would help you to prove your case.  I doubt that you would have to go there but just in case.  Now for my experience,  I worked in the hospital and had to have a physical exam, which was done by the hospital I was working for.  There was a question as to wether I have any medical problems.  I talked this over with my Doctor and he suggested that I do not disclose that I was HIV+.  % years later I was put out on disability for chronic headaches, and on the disability form that the doctor filled out he also put that I was HIV+.  When I went to go back to work the nurse had said that I could have gotten fired for not disclosing that information.  I than told her that my concern was that I would not be hired.  In response she told me that would have not been the case.  They would have put me in a category of being handicapped.  There is some kind of kick back from the government they get for hiring a certain amount of "handicapped" people.  Now again this is a large corporation.  I am not sure what I am trying to tell you, just wanted to give you my experience.  I also worked for a Doctors office which was not a large corporation, and had no problems with insurance disclosing any information to them.  So I wish you the best of Luck and try not to worry so much and concentrate on your health.  Why worry when you can't change anything, cross that bridge when you come to it. Again best of Luck.  Great big hug Rachel

Offline jasonpoz12

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2006, 09:26:14 PM »
Kent, Allopathicholistic, and Poobear,

Thank you very much for your advice and experiences.

Sorry, I am still afraid to disclose too much personal and company’s information in the forum. Fearing someone who knows me may find out who I am.

Being POZ lets me lose confidence and I am hesitated to try to find a new job in big company. If I find a new job in other company I still need to go through the same difficulty that I have now. So I hope I can work in my current company for a couple of years. My job is in high technology and I am very good at it. I am a very productive employee and help company solve lots of problem. The work load in my company is not heavy since my skill is good and I never did overtime before. I hope my boss can consider that I am a very valuable employee and don’t fire me if he find out my POZ status. But who knows. If I finally lose the job I have to find other job for my family.

I will take Poobear’s advice to write down something that I think it may be used by employer as an excuse to fire me. This is very good idea.

As a new POZ people I have to learn lots of things. The forum and the people in the forum had given me so many helps, I really appreciated and like to say thank you again.  

Jason
« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 09:29:20 PM by jasonpoz12 »

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 11:22:32 PM »
Hello Jason,

I understand that disclosure is something difficult to address at times. However, you are doing the BEST that you can do on your job right now. Try not to stress out about the premium for the company's insurance. You may want to seek other employment with larger companies. It is not necessary for you to disclose your HIV status when applying for a job. I believe Alex said it clearly.

In the meantime, focus on your health, your family and your job. Start taking a multi-vitamins with your regimen, and do your BEST to reduce your stress level.

Have the BEST Day!

Offline LatinAlexander

  • Member
  • Posts: 599
  • Bogota, Colombia
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 11:37:23 PM »
What can I tell you?

Just focus on your job. Do not sel lyour time (OT is a bad idea). A lot of rest is good. Make sure you are a corporate bastard (which menas solving problems, and making sure your bosses see it, be proactive and if you can , get a promotion.). Yes, I know it sounds easy as hell. But if you are an excellent employee, IF htey find anything, they'll think twice.

Alex
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Online Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,086
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2006, 11:52:12 PM »
There's absolutely NO WAY your employer will find out about your health, either from your medical insurer (illegal, obviously) or even from any rises in your premium.  During the first 8 years of my being positive I worked at a small employer (8 people when I began and maybe 20 when I left) and part of my job was negotiating the yearly renewal of our health insurance.    Our premiums rising yearly were always in line with what was the average for all other insurance plans from what I could ascertain from reading the news.   I know that a smaller number of people on a plan, versus a small company has an effect on premiums but that's about it, at least in my experience.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline randym431

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,125
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2006, 11:28:29 AM »
Well everyone’s employer is different. There are laws...but...ways around them. Both my partner and I work for a fairly large company. My partner is hiv- but did find out he had CLM leukemia in April of 2005 during a routine blood test for his diabetes status. He was very lucky because there is a drug that is used to control CLM. They call it a magic bullet. It costs $3200 a month for 30 once a day pills. He pays just a $20 co pay each month.
Anyway, he has never told anyone at work and I also told him never to tell anyone at work. So this one day a lady in accounts payable dept comes up to him and asks "how are you doing??? I heard you have cancer."  He just smiled and said no, he had diabetes. Nothing else ever said. Then one night (we work at the same place mind you), one night the head of the janitors (of all people) came up to me and ask how my partner was saying " I heard he's got cancer or something. Is he ok?".
I just said thats strange, he has diabetes, not cancer. I ask where he heard that from and then he acted real evasive and would not tell me. So, gossip travels and I figure the dept that process medical claims had a big mouth and the gossip got out. In reality that’s how it usually goes. They are not suppose to talk, but they do. I figure they also know I am hiv+ but since hiv is such a taboo issue in general, they wont ask or talk about it to me.
With all this, the company has not shown any adverse reaction to us as of yet and we both get raving reviews and the highest raises every year. But I am on guard anyway.

I'm probably stupid to even post this since I know the company monitors our use of the web at work, even though I am at home right now posting. I have read the forum from work and they probably know my username. I have security internet web cams at home that I use to monitor the dogs when we are work. I can tap in and see the dogs over the net from work. Once this tech guy at work ask my partner "do you guys run a porn site? I seen these web cam addresses that look like someones house". My partner said no, we just monitor the house and the dogs. He laughed and said he was just kidding...
But they sure know everything that goes on over the net from work.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 11:41:16 AM by randym431 »

Offline wellington

  • Member
  • Posts: 508
  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2006, 12:28:40 PM »
I wouldn't sweat the annual premium increase too much. You would be extremely surprised to know what other people charge on those things. even in a small company with generally healthy people, drug plans get used well - that's what they're for!

Having worked in IT myself, I know that working for a larger company is not always better. Stay focused on doing the best job you can and let the little things take care of themselves :)

Offline SirPrize

  • Member
  • Posts: 78
  • SirPrize!
Re: HIV and job
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2006, 01:47:04 PM »
I can't add much to the very good advice that has already been offered.  However, one thing that did catch my eye in your post was your concern for providing for your family.

Therefore, it's never too early to educate yourself should some future event based on your health status cause an interruption in your capacity to earn.  If you have enough earning credits and should your health situation deteriorate you could qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD).  If you qualify, your children would also be eligible to draw a monthly check from your SSD Insurance that you have been paying into as required by law.  NO, this is not part of the welfare system.  It is an insurance program that every worker and employer pays into.  I have attached a link and you can type in "HIV" in the search function to edify yourself.  That being said, I do hope you are able to continue working and I only bring up this issue to offer you some peace of mind regarding the future for your and your family.

https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/partlist!OpenView
Due to current economic conditions, the light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarily turned off!

 


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