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HIV and job

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jasonpoz12:
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

kentb:
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

allopathicholistic:
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 guess.  being 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.

poobear:
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

jasonpoz12:
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

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