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Poll

Did you change to a new career, or a new career focus because of HIV?

AIDS: Changed to a new career with an HIV related focus
AIDS:  Stayed in same general career but changed job to focus more on HIV related work
AIDS: Reduced hours or changed to a less demanding job due to HIV
AIDS: Currently retired or on disability due to HIV
AIDS: Same job or changed for reasons unrelated to HIV
HIV+ but not AIDS: Changed to a new career with an HIV related focus
HIV+ but not AIDS: Stayed in same general career but changed job to focus more on HIV related work
HIV+ but not AIDS: Reduced hours or changed to a less demanding job due to HIV
HIV+ but not AIDS:  Currently retired or on disability due to HIV
HIV+ but not AIDS: Same job or changed for reasons unrelated to HIV

Author Topic: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis  (Read 4072 times)

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Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« on: June 07, 2011, 10:18:13 PM »
As I mentioned in other threads, AIDS affected my ability to work the crazy hours of my prior job, and I eventually quit it and moved to part time employment.  But as I get closer to 55, the economy improves and I  and have dealt with many of the accumulated health problems I've considered going back to a full time job. 

Alternatively, I've thought about changing my career to focus more directly on HIV-related issues, which have not been a focus of my work in the past.

Over the years, it seems I've read a number of stories of people changing their careers to one focused on HIV, starting with Peter Staley's comment that he founded AIDSMEDS to get off disability. 

If you have changed careers in part because of the diagnosis I'm hoping you might be willing to share something of the issues you considered, how long it took, whether you went back to school as part of the switch, what issues you wish you had considered...

A note about the survey -- I have tried to lay it out so that people who have had an AIDS diagnosis will answer one of the first five questions and those who are HIV+ but have not received an AIDS diagnosis will answer one of the second set of five questions.  Please check the first box that applies to you.

Thanks
A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline next2u

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,762
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 02:36:51 AM »
i fall in the last category. im still working in my current profession and hiv has not affected that. what hiv has affected is my desire to get into a profession more aligned with my core passions, whatever the fuck those are.

have a great one.

best,
d
midapr07 - seroconversion
sept07 - tested poz
oct07 cd4 1013; vl 13,900; cd4% 41
feb08 cd4  694;  vl 16,160; cd4% 50.1
may08 cd4 546; vl 91,480; cd4% 32
aug08 cd4 576; vl 48,190; cd4% 40.7
dec08 cd4 559; vl 63,020; cd4% 29.4
feb09 cd4 464; vl 11,000; cd4% 26
may09 cd4 544; vl 29,710; cd4% 27.2
oct09 cd4 ...; vl 23,350; cd4% 31.6
mar10 cd4 408; vl 59,050; cd4% 31.4
aug10 cd4 328; vl 80,000; cd4% 19.3 STARTED ATRIPLA
oct10 cd4 423; vl 410 ;); cd4% 30.2
jun11 cd4 439; vl <20 ;); cd4% 33.8 <-Undetectable!
mar12 cd4 695; vl ud; cd4% 38.6
jan13 cd4 738; vl ud; cd4% 36.8
aug13 cd4 930; vl ud; cd4% 44.3
jan14 cd4 813; vl ud; cd4% 42.8
may14 cd4 783; vl *; cd4%43.5

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 02:42:09 AM »
what hiv has affected is my desire to get into a profession more aligned with my core passions, whatever the fuck those are.

Ditto. My diagnosis has been like a wake up call to change my work to something I truly find engaging and enjoyable and not a job I find a chore. I am yet to find my calling though.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline le_liseur

  • Member
  • Posts: 133
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 08:09:31 PM »
I am still in school, so I do not have a "career" yet, tho it should happen very soon (hopefully). I didn't change or stop anything I was already doing, I still want and will become a college teacher and work with books and literature history! :)

Actually, work and school have probably helped me a lot in two things when it comes to HIV and when I first learned about my diagnosis, about a year and a half ago : the ways I search for information, I analyse things for school have helped me understanding what was happening without freaking out, and the loads of work I had to do at that time also helped me to think about other things than HIV, helped me not thinking about this every single minute of my days. So HIV did affect the work I was doing, but the ways I learned how to work also helped me to deal with the diagnosis.

(And hello to you all, as this is my first ever message on this forum board, tho I have been reading and consulting it a lot over the last few months !! Also, please be kind if my grammar and syntax are sometimes a little weird : French is my first language ! hehe  ;D )

Offline seriously

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 11:12:14 PM »
I'm not sure which one of these boxes really applies to my situation. AIDS most defintely guided my job choice.

I accepted and resigned myself to take a boring position with a large company with benefits versus taking a position that I was truly interested in with a startup with uncertain benefits and uncertain prospects... I know, I know,  I should be greatful to be in such a bind, but I feel like I am shorting my potential and happiness just to ensure that I have guaranteed access to healthcare.

Having insurance tied to employeers as we do here in America is insane and my choice was 100% based on fear.  I hope that once the dust settles with healthcare "reform"  I'll have confidece in my ability to access care and be able to take a job that I enjoy, but for the time being, I'm just treading water.
Infected 7/25/03
In denial until 12/1/10
12/7/10 CD4 160 VL 456k
12/18/10 Started Isentress/Truvada
...
12/12/13 CD4 456 VL <20

Offline drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,169
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 11:31:18 PM »
HIV/AIDS has effected my decision making process in this way. Health care is no longer an after-thought, it is my priority. It comes first in how I think. Career and everything else are still important but health care ranks first.
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,225
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 10:23:45 AM »
Finishing up grad school.  I have decided to do my thesis on an HIV related topic.  I wouldnt have chosen that had I not been +
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline NycJoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 249
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 11:59:42 AM »
I went back to school after 20 years and got my degree and now work in the  medical field.  Soon I will be working on my masters.  HIV did not cause me to do this but it did light a fire within me to live life to the fullest.  I always had the power I just didn't realize it.   (How very Glinda from the Wizard of Oz). 

Joe

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,260
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 08:25:48 PM »

( less demanding job)

I was working in maintenance and renovations, in a nursing home/assisted living and independent facility.  Due to neuropathy in 2004, changed to a desk job ( within the same company) had to take a cut in pay, but wasn't about to give up 5 weeks vacation per year, and other benefits.

There was no way , I could continue with the physical work, that I was doing prior to 2004, so I was fortunate that a position had opened up within the same company.

I miss the more challenging/physical work. And sitting at a desk, 5 nights a week is not my thing, but you do, what you got to do. I will be able to retire December of 2013.


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline PozJeepGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 250
  • Facebook - Jacob Perry
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 09:35:49 PM »
It's funny this question came up.  I am starting to look at going back to school to change my profession because of my diagnoses. I have been a chef for 10+ plus years now.  I have to say it has so slowed me down due to my fear of cutting myself.  I recently told employer about it because I just felt working in this enviroment it needed to be brought up.  My employer was great and said if you cut yourself just throw away the food, sanitize your cutting board, and banage your self and go on.  I have to admit I was stunned on how relaxed they are with it and even helping with time off for doc. visits and such.  With that said  its me that can't relax.  So I am looking into human resources or another direction to go to also just for the future. 
Jacob Perry

I refuse to wear my HIV as a badge of shame any longer.

Offline darryaz

  • Member
  • Posts: 450
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 02:09:56 PM »
I'm in a category that doesn't fit any of those above.  I used this "opportunity" to start back to school full-time and get a degree that will enable a career change I'd been contemplating for several years.

Offline Buckmark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,567
  • Would you like to tie me up with your ties, Ty?
    • Henry's Home Page
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2011, 10:17:08 AM »
HIV/AIDS has effected my decision making process in this way. Health care is no longer an after-thought, it is my priority. It comes first in how I think. Career and everything else are still important but health care ranks first.

I find myself thinking this as well, that access to health care comes first when thinking of changing jobs or careers.  I keep thinking I'd like to go back to school, but the areas I am interested in (arts, mostly) aren't exactly known for lavish (or any) healthcare benefits. 

"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline Jody

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,840
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 09:13:42 PM »
Dear A...With your knowledge and expertise you should be able to hook up at many places, human resources not the least of them.  I am sure you will bring a great deal to the table whatever you choose and if something comes up and chooses you, so be it.  In reality for many people a job can be very stressful and maybe not quite a first choice way to spend your day, but with a paycheck and health benefits they are your keys to enjoying the things in life that make you happy, hopefully your career at the top of the list.

Good luck,
Jody
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline Rayray

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 01:47:46 PM »
                            I am a bit different in this area,I just started doing the job I went to school for and put in my time as a lowest man on the ladder. Working on call 24/7 driving at 2am to pick up bodies to get home for an hour of rest and get called out again to work a few more hours and be in for full days work 9 to 5pm. As I finally was able to join the company as a full time Funeral Director I was the happiest person in the world.
                  I thought now its going to be easy,Was I ever wrong in 2007 was feeling really bad went to visit family back home and ended up in the hospital for a month.Then they told me I had Aids and they didn't think I was going to get to go home.A bout with mai and pneumonia,and wasting.I am still here however I can no longer do the job I always wantted to do. Doctors told me it wasn't a good idea do to all the opportunistic infections I fought and still fight off today. Even with universal precautions I was getting sick working on people so I had to throw in the towel.

                  I am however thinking of going back to school to maybe teach restorative arts to future funeral director at least the bodies are preserved and sanitized so no worries in that department.I just have to figure out how to work the social security out with the ticket to work program,I find it hard to understand and it scares me to think if I get sick I wouldn't be able to get back on it if needed and have to go thru the whole process all over again.
Tested feb 2007 neg
Seroconvert 07/2007
Diagnosed w/ Aids-PCP-Mac-Thrush-PN
09/07 CD4 71 Put on zidovudrine, Efarivnz, prednisone,bactrim ds,Z pak,Diflucan,Mepron
10/07 CD4 9 160,000,000  Stopped all pre meds for observations found current ID. started on Atripila for two weeks end due to sustiva allergy
11/07 CD4 4 VL-1600,000start Norvir-Truvada-Reytaz
12/07 CD4 83 VL-1600,000
02/08 CD4 488 VL- 4100
05/08 CD4 514 VL- 4200
07/08 CD4 434 VL- <400
10/08 Cd4 531 VL-Undetectable
10/16/2008 cd4 393 VL-undetectable
01/29/2009 cd4 419 VL-undetectable
04/28/2009 cd4 385 VL-undetectable
08/06/2009 cd4 358 VL-undetectable
12/14/2010 cd4 741 VL-undetectable

Offline twofires

  • Member
  • Posts: 345
    • Artists Farm
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2011, 05:22:50 PM »
as a working artist I may never switch careers

I have started developing more focused long term goals though, so I'm not actually still working when I'm in my 90's



Who was it wrote; Give any one species too much rope and they'll fuck it up?
-Roger Waters

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,076
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2011, 06:14:41 PM »
changed nothing careerwise
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline justaguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2011, 11:26:03 PM »
I left a job I had been in for over a decade about a year after my diagnosis.  I think being diagnosed kind of knocked my ass in gear and made me start living the way I want to live.  So I left my job and started my own company about a year ago and things couldn't be better.  My stress levels are much lower since things are now done on my terms, not the terms of some "boss".  The only hard part was figuring out how to keep health care, but it all worked out perfectly in the end thanks to my state's high risk insurance pool.
Estimated infection: 3/2008
Tested HIV positive: 3/31/2009
CD4 136/unknown %/VL 150,000: 4/6/2009
Started Atripla 4/17/2009
CD4 255/19%/VL 409 5/27/2009
CD4 247/??/VL 161 6/27/2009
CD4 257/21%/VL 60 7/22/2009
CD4 352/22%/VL Undetectable 10/21/2009
CD4 490/27%/VL Undetectable 2/15/2010
CD4 397/?/VL Undetectable 7/2/2010

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,076
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2011, 12:51:03 AM »
Since I was diagnosed after 45, it kinda served as a very ironic wake up call that I hadn't planned my retirement at all.  Somewhat coinciding with a split up of a LTR, too. Which also changed my planning.
So actually, I have to get my butt in gear and figure out a way to make a lot more money during my 50's.  Grrr.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline klassykitty

  • Member
  • Posts: 381
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2011, 08:57:15 PM »
My job change had nothing to do with AIDS.   I am taking classes so I can change job fields  because of my AIDS.  Mainly for better insurance, less strenuous, and more money.
How to handle stress like a dog:
If you can't eat it or play with it.....
then pee on it and walk away

Diagnosed 01-20-2011
01-23  CD4 32    VL 125,400
02-18        76     VL 189
03-14  no cd4 test done   VL-52
04-14   69  VL-UNDECTABLE  YEA!!
05-26   50  whoopsy  
06-27   71        %-7
08-15   64 WTF %-9 
10-16  80         %7  
2012  CD4  %Thing   VL-UD
01-18  87    7
04-18  93    8  
07-16  151  8         
10-18  83    9    VL-70
2013   CD4   %thing       VL-UD
01-28  121     9
04-24  148    11   
07-25  157    11   
10-22  185    13
2014   CD-4  %thing   VL-UD
02-07 201 YEA!!!!!!  12
06-03  205      12

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,076
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Work and career choices after HIV diagnosis
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2011, 10:15:41 PM »
My job change had nothing to do with AIDS.   I am taking classes so I can change job fields  because of my AIDS.  Mainly for better insurance, less strenuous, and more money.
Wise.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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