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Author Topic: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?  (Read 8399 times)

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Offline lost_boy

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Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« on: June 10, 2011, 04:34:14 PM »
Right-o, it's looking like I am facing a bit of a bind.

I'm in the running for a job with my current employer that really appeals to me. I'd be going out to various foreign countries for a couple of months at a time, but I would be working quite long hours, demanding situations. It would be hard work, but not unsafe.

However, before I go, I need to do a medical check. I have a health form with standard questions and need to declare any ailments. This would be stuff like asthma, heart problems... and obviously, HIV.

I'm currently on medication. I'm not unwell, never a sick day, and this job isn't something where I wouldn't be able to take my medication daily. My doctor has assured me he would proscribe enough medication to take with me, and then some. So I'm not worried about that.

However - I know if I declare my HIV status at this stage, I would be out the running (I am almost certain of this). It's competitive, and any reason to knock candidates out the running will no doubt be taken. Also, I've not declared my status to my employer at the moment. This current health stuff wouldn't be subject to the same confidential non-disclosure that you'd usually expect - as in, colleagues who are friends would see it as part of the assessment process (it's meant to be confidential within the team I'm applying for, but I think we all know how these things work in real life).

I'm kind of a shoe-in for this role as well, and it would raise awkward questions if I didn't get the job or dropped out the running due to a mystery "health problem" anyway. I know it's kind of stupid not to declare this, especially if I am working abroad and the worst happens - but I would rather deal with that then and there, rather then miss this opportunity now.

My other concern is that I would need (assuming I get offered the job) a clean bill of health from my doctor. I have declared my HIV status to my GP (that's my doctor, for American readers!). This is my BIG worry. Is my doctor obligated to be truthful if I go and beg for him to provide me with a bit of paper saying I am fit for the job? Could I go and sign up to another GP, who doesn't know my status, and simply get the clean bill of health from them?

All the the pre-deployment health check is a couple of laps of a race course, some pushups, blood pressure check etc. They won't be doing blood/urine checks, anything like that. I'm fit and (essentially) healthy - I feel in a real bind!!

Thoughts appreciated. I'm not in denial about my status - I just don't want it ending up being office gossip for why I didn't get this role, and HIV just won't be treated the same as if I had a bad back or a heart murmour  :(  Need to fill out the health self-assessment early next week, so need to decide whether to fess up and face the consequences, or take a gamble and hide my status.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 04:49:57 PM »
FEEL like you're in a bind, I think you are definitely in a sucky little bind. I'm certain you'll get some opinions here and that might help you figure out your plan. Here's what I would do were I in the exact same situation as you.

First thing Monday, make an appointment pronto with your ID doc to discuss this issue with him and explain everything you've explained here. If he can't see you in person, schedule a phone consultation. Ask him what HE would do and then ask what he CAN do to enable this to happen. Worst case scenario, he can't -- but doctors know ways in which they can write letters, etc. Further, perhaps you and he can discuss his becoming your GP right away (my ID doc is also my GP) and if he would do that, would he work with you to enable you to be in the running since he knows you're compliant, he knows the stigmatization and obvious likelihood of being knocked out of the running.

I would simply enlist him as he seems the most likely ally in the mix -- and if he sees no way around the truth, then don't throw your hat in the ring as it seems too high risk otherwise.


Best of luck.
Em

Offline mecch

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 05:21:05 PM »
However - I know if I declare my HIV status at this stage, I would be out the running (I am almost certain of this). It's competitive, and any reason to knock candidates out the running will no doubt be taken. Also, I've not declared my status to my employer at the moment. This current health stuff wouldn't be subject to the same confidential non-disclosure that you'd usually expect - as in, colleagues who are friends would see it as part of the assessment process (it's meant to be confidential within the team I'm applying for, but I think we all know how these things work in real life).

They are not playing fair.  But still, if you like the company enough, for the moment, to want to get a promotion, then you shouldnt make a stink about these unfair practices.
So, since they play dirty, play dirty back and omit your HIV status. 
In this day and age, companies screw over employees all the time.  Just do a good job, and thats all you owe them, cause when the shit hits the fan for the profit makers in a company, they will owe you nothing.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline drewm

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 05:25:58 PM »
Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?

YES
MAY 2010
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JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

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Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 05:31:41 PM »
Seems to me you need to know your rights under UK law -- is this something your UK ASO's could help you with (e.g. Terrence Higgins Trust?).

Somehow I would expect it to be illegal to force you to disclose in order to get a specific assignment, but I know nothing about UK law. 

So then it boils down to whether you have any ethical or moral obligations.  I would suggest you simply state that you are aware of no health conditions that would impede your performance in the job.

Good luck , let us know how it turns out

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%
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Offline eric48

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 05:32:26 PM »
Anyway so many people would 'honnestly' not disclose because they just do not know their status.

If it comes up, you may still say you found out after being hired

Eric

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 05:36:23 PM »
your  Dr   doesnt have  to lie  he only has  to state  that you are  fit  for the job... ... I  dont know  about  company policies there but here in Tx  if  your  HIV status played any part in Job  decisions they  would be  breaking the law,   especially since  you seem to be a "shoo -in"  for the job....    starting a new job  with a lie  just leads to  lots of stress  and  bad feelings  later

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
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Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 06:05:27 PM »
Try thinking about it this way, if you do not declare your HIV status and you get the promotion how likely do you think it is that you will be busted at some later date?

And, if you are busted at some later date, what would the consequence be?

MtD

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 06:08:50 PM »
Why lie, you might be surprised by their reaction.  What happens if you do get sick.  Hold your head up high and just be honest. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 06:19:18 PM »
Try thinking about it this way, if you do not declare your HIV status and you get the promotion how likely do you think it is that you will be busted at some later date?

And, if you are busted at some later date, what would the consequence be?

MtD

Agreed. This is why I would enlist the ID doc's input. He may well have been involved in similar problem-solving for other patients.

Offline lost_boy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 06:44:16 PM »
Hi guys,

Cheers for the immediate responses. It kind of reassures me that everyone's gut instinct seems to be "don't disclose if it can be helped"... I know it shouldn't be this way, but it kind of is.

@ emeraldize, I think that's what I'm going to do come Monday. I'm going to get in touch with the docs and see what they say, if it is possible. If not, then, I'll just go on a merry-go-round til I find a doctor who will, or who doesn't (properly) know my case history. I guess I could just sign up to a new GP, as we don't have centralized records (yet) in the NHS.

My hat is also kind of too far in the ring to back out now! I actually only applied on a whim, and surprised myself by how far I got... (all this worry may be for naught, may not get the job at the last hurdle! :P )

@ mecch, I do like my job, and the company enough. But I have realised to get ahead,  sometimes people fib or stretch the truth. I'm only going for this more recent job as I got passed over for something I'm more suited to (basically, I got told at the end of the interview and in subsequent feedback I was the strongest candidate, but my paper evidence and manager review didn't match so they couldn't take me... this despite the fact my manager review gave me a better assessment than the one I had given myself! It was a "good" discrepency... but a discrepency nonetheless. Grrr!! Stupid bureaucracy. Job went to an utter bullshitter who exaggerated his achievements, as these things do. So I'm more inclined to fiddle the system than before!).

@ drewm: YES in bold. I like it :)

@ assurbanipal, I suspect I couldn't be turned down purely because of my HIV status. However, I have no doubt it would "factor into considerations". I'm also more concerned it filters into my permanent record, and prevents me from applying to other similar posts in future. Ethically, it bothers me tremendously that I can't be open about it, but I'm also a bit of a realist about these things. I like your solution, "I am not aware of any health conditions that would impede my performance in the job." My status doesn't, hasn't and won't impede me. Whether others would understand that is another question entirely.

(simalarly, @ pozniceguy, if the Doctor can say I am "fit for job" but doesnt need to outright lie about my status, that could work).

@ eric48, the thought that I could claim ignorance did cross my mind, but I am on meds. So I don't know how far I could follow that route!

@ matty, this isn't a promotion but a sideways move. If I do get busted, I suspect I could be sacked for lying (in the current economic climate, they are always looking to lose people). But, I could get over that. Would be embarassing though!

@ pozjeepguy: that is the worry. What if I do get sick, what if something goes wrong and I need help.. BUT, that is an unlikely probability (which will no doubt happen, cos that's just the way it goes, haha :P). I'm not expecting hostility or anything. I am expecting being politely told that I won't be able to take the job due to the "risk to my health" or "not being able to fulfil the role" (and it's basically a desk job in countries with noodles or curry instead of hamburgers! Think I can tolerate the ocassional upset stomach!)

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 07:00:12 PM »
Also I personally feel that if we just don't come out with it we only propitiates the stigma.  Once again personally I wouldn't want to be in fear for my job over it.  I have enough on my plate with worrying wether they know or do not know.  I wouldn't want to work or be around people that don't want to be around me because of it.  Surround yourself by those who except you for all you are.  All that matters at the end of the night is you can look at yourself in mirror and know you did your best and your were honest. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 07:06:17 PM »
Lost Boy, I'm going to agree with most and say that you keep your HIV status to yourself.  If being poz has no impact whatsoever upon the task that you will be performing there is no reason why this information should be requested.  Assurbanipal's advice is very good; do a little research with a UK ASO, I bet they will probably tell you not to disclose this info.

it's basically a desk job in countries with noodles or curry instead of hamburgers! Think I can tolerate the ocassional upset stomach!


Do consider however the countries where you might have to work; there are still a few silly places with restrictions against HIV visitors.  It wouldn't be very nice when you arrive in Jordan or Singapore and they send your butt back home for being a pozzum (and then your employer would find out for sure).  If the travel is all within the EU or the Americas then definitely go for it.

Good luck with whatever choice that you make.

[edit: coz I carnt spell]
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 09:34:11 PM by Rev. Moon »
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline jp2011ny

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 07:58:14 PM »
Lostboy,

You should go for it. You are not back stabing anyone. You are not cut throating anyone. There are so many a holes who would back stab you to get ahead. If you can do the job and do it well, you should go for it and win it. Employers like to keep the ones that perform well. If you do well, they make more profit. If you perform well and bring something to the table, they will want to keep you around.
Good luck.

JP

Offline Raf

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2011, 08:09:24 PM »
Hey Lost_boy, I say go for it too. Unless you're applying for the porn industry (LOL) I don't see why being poz would be a problem. If they find out later...well, my bad, just say "I didn't know". Sometimes we have to lie our ass to keep our jobs and bring food to the table.

But please go first and talk to your doc about this, specially with your bill of health.And rev moon got a very delicate point there, check the HIV policies of the countries you will be sent, you might sent back to the states because some some countries stupid laws.
Dx: 05/14/2008
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Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 02:38:44 AM »
I agree with Moon about foreign travel.  The company may have no choice but to disqualify you on that basis, if you disclose your status. 

If you want the job, I just wouldn't chance disclosure.  And if you're in good health, go for it.  How would you be any worse off if you did get sick than if you were in your current position?  Seems to me you have everything to lose if you disclose, including your current position.  Why take the risk if it's not warranted?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 02:43:05 AM by MitchMiller »

Offline Cliff

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2011, 03:48:21 AM »
Assuming you won't be sent to countries for extended period of time (i.e., applying for visas) that may require an HIV test, I personally wouldn't disclose.  I'd have a chat with my doc about the forms.  The doc will likely just state that you're fit for the role and not state anything about your status. 

You want the role.  You don't think your status will get in the way.  If you disclose or not go for the role, your position at the company would be compromised.  No brainer to me. 

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 10:00:54 AM »
I have to admit I am floored.  What about fighting stigma.  Or do we just hide under a rock and scared to come forward.  If its just a illness why is so many so scared to just say this is the way it is.  Bottom line a liar is a liar that will always be a liar.  A true test of a man is being able to stand up and say this is the way it is.  How can we expect others not to judge us when we don't have the strength to stand up for ourselves. So I have a question, when do you disclose.  Doctor only, maybe one family member, that one close friend, or on your death bed.  just curious??

To the op.  I freaked out about work being a chef.  I am still amazed how my employer stood up and said were here to support you. Each day I go to work knowing I'm not hiding anything.  I go work and enjoy each day free from outside pressure and it also allows me to focus more on my work.  Not all people are horrible, judging, and bitter people. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2011, 10:05:43 AM »
In the UK, you are protected under the Disability and the Equality Act 2010. You have been protected under this act from the point of your hiv diagnosis.

You can find more information here.

And the following information (plus more) can be found in this PDF:

The general position is that it is unlawful for an
employer to ask any job applicant about their
health or disability unless and until the applicant has
been offered a job. (But note that there are a few
specific circumstances when questions about health
and disability can be asked.These are explained later
in this guide.)


Where an organisation is holding a bulk recruitment
exercise, this restriction on questions about health or
disability applies up to the point where an applicant
has been placed in a pool of successful applicants
who are to be offered jobs as vacancies arise.


It is also unlawful for an employer’s representative to
ask a job applicant questions about their health or
disability.This means that an employer cannot refer
an applicant to an occupational health practitioner
or ask an applicant to fill in a questionnaire provided
by an occupational health practitioner before a job
offer is made.


Good luck.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline jp2011ny

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2011, 11:02:33 AM »
I have to admit I am floored.  What about fighting stigma.  Or do we just hide under a rock and scared to come forward.  If its just a illness why is so many so scared to just say this is the way it is.  Bottom line a liar is a liar that will always be a liar.  A true test of a man is being able to stand up and say this is the way it is.  How can we expect others not to judge us when we don't have the strength to stand up for ourselves. So I have a question, when do you disclose.  Doctor only, maybe one family member, that one close friend, or on your death bed.  just curious??

To the op.  I freaked out about work being a chef.  I am still amazed how my employer stood up and said were here to support you. Each day I go to work knowing I'm not hiding anything.  I go work and enjoy each day free from outside pressure and it also allows me to focus more on my work.  Not all people are horrible, judging, and bitter people. 

hey jeepguy,

It is great that you work for an employer who is supportive of your condition. Not everyone is as lucky as you are. We all work in different environments. I work for a fortune 500 company and it is not our corporate culture to discuss such personal matters at work place. Plus I am a private person. I don't share my personal stuff at work and I don't want to hear other people's personal stuff either except for the ones I care. Most of our employees don't. We are there to work and not to have a personal chit chat. I do my job and that's what they care.

It is great that you stand up for yourself. We all have different circumstances and you can't judge others for not being able to disclose. You don't know what others have to face. Everyone is different. I will listen to your opinion with respect but I couldn't care less about your judgement.

Let me ask you one thing though. Have you disclosed to any of your restaurant customers who come in to eat the food you cook?

JP

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2011, 11:10:59 AM »
hey jeepguy,

It is great that you work for an employer who is supportive of your condition. Not everyone is as lucky as you are. We all work in different environments. I work for a fortune 500 company and it is not our corporate culture to discuss such personal matters at work place. Plus I am a private person. I don't share my personal stuff at work and I don't want to hear other people's personal stuff either except for the ones I care. Most of our employees don't. We are there to work and not to have a personal chit chat. I do my job and that's what they care.

It is great that you stand up for yourself. We all have different circumstances and you can't judge others for not being able to disclose. You don't know what others have to face. Everyone is different. I will listen to your opinion with respect but I couldn't care less about your judgement.

Let me ask you one thing though. Have you disclosed to any of your restaurant customers who come in to eat the food you cook?

JP

You should back off.

Jake gave his best advice. Just because you work for a Fortune 500 company doesn't give you permission to shit on his quilt.

Lost_Boy merely asked for opinions and he has received them.

You should back off.

MtD


Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2011, 11:28:28 AM »
My employees know, some of the customers I talk to know, my friends, my family, and the whole thing about working in a corp environment.  So what.  By hidding you just keep the stigma alive.  I live my life open and free and no fear about how knows what.  By being ashamed to share just says your ashamed of who you are and don't let that be the case.  You know the long termers have fought hard for us to have new drugs and rights that we enjoy to this day.  But just hiding everything just makes it worse for all of us and those who are coming in behind us.  I know its hard I'm not bind to that but lying everyday has to be hard to.  Keep people at a distance and hiding the truth is hard and in the long run not good for your health. 

There is no judgement here.  The op ask for our opions and Im giving mine. 

STAND UP HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND LETS MOVE FORWARD.  Maybe growing up gay has helped me with this aspect of life.  I will not let anyone hold me down or hold me back. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2011, 11:35:27 AM »
Also just for the record I'm not saying tell everyone.  If you work for a larger company they must have human resources or something like that.  Inform them.  I was told by my human resources department that our conversation is private.  There may even be resources for you in the long run god forbid you do get ill they may be able to help instead of lying and then they can fire you for giving false information.  just something to think about
Jacob Perry

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

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2011, 11:40:11 AM »
Maybe growing up gay has helped me with this aspect of life.  I will not let anyone hold me down or hold me back. 

That's pretty much how I have always looked at it, but then everyone has wildly different experiences with how "out" they are about their sexuality. IMO if they're not totally out about that they won't be totally out about their Pozzitude.

For me it's not just about reducing stigma in society, it's about my own personal mental health... you know, taking care of #1, etc. When you compartmentalize aspects of your life on a daily basis it tends to spread to other undesirable behavioral patterns, and certainly contributes to depression issues.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2011, 11:49:40 AM »
Jake,

Mad props to you. You've stepped out and worn your poz status the like badge of honour it is.

We salute you.

I've done the same thing. It's a hard row to hoe.

But we have to give others of our kind space to find their place. Lost is doing just that. I've no doubt he'll do us proud.

So let's give him that space. :)

MtD

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2011, 11:55:35 AM »
You are so right Matty;  I always tell those close to me I might not always agree with you but I believe in supporting each other in what ever we decide.  As a fellow pozzie I will always support you. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2011, 12:00:52 PM »
You are so right Matty;  I always tell those close to me I might not always agree with you but I believe in supporting each other in what ever we decide.  As a fellow pozzie I will always support you. 

Damn straight. :)

A Fiver always speaks the truth. That truth may not be what motherfuckers want to hear, but it is speaked all the same.

You know what I mean.

That said, some Fivers have to cover their asses, just to make ends meet.

We should respect that too. ;)

MtD

Offline CaptCarl

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2011, 02:45:55 PM »
  STAND UP HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH AND LETS MOVE FORWARD.  Maybe growing up gay has helped me with this aspect of life.  I will not let anyone hold me down or hold me back. 

Jake,
  I am in total agreement here. I have worked in situations from a 5 person body shop owned and run by a guy so fucking religious, he thought the Pope was a lightweight on a moral level, to working for a unversity with over 20,000 eployees, and everyting in between. One of the things that I never compromised was refusal to pretend I was negative for someone else's comfort. Got royally fucked a few times because if it, but wouldn't change a thing even if I could. I refuse to act as though I have something to be ashamed of just because someone else has issues with it. Even living here in JesusLand, pretty much all the neighbors know, and no-one has ever given me any shit for it.
CaptCarl

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Offline Raf

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2011, 03:06:52 PM »
I have to admit I am floored.  What about fighting stigma.  Or do we just hide under a rock and scared to come forward.  If its just a illness why is so many so scared to just say this is the way it is.  Bottom line a liar is a liar that will always be a liar.  A true test of a man is being able to stand up and say this is the way it is.  How can we expect others not to judge us when we don't have the strength to stand up for ourselves. So I have a question, when do you disclose.  Doctor only, maybe one family member, that one close friend, or on your death bed.  just curious??

Wow, that's a harsh thing to say. I'm glad that you have the courage to disclose so openly, but be aware that everyone's conditions are different, like working places, laws and regulations, if they live or not with their parents/family or even in what country they are.

Answering your question, I disclosed only to my HIV doctor, and everyone in my home (mom -who was with me when I got the Dx- , dad, sister, and one of my aunts who lives with us) and a sexual partner I had by the time of my Dx, but aside of that, nobody else.

And yes, if I have to lie to keep a roof over my head and keep my job to have something to eat, yes, I'm a liar and I'll be always a liar.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 04:50:21 PM by Raf »
Dx: 05/14/2008
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Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline LM

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2011, 04:05:04 PM »
Each person should decide what to do with what they have.

If one can be open about it, that's great, I really, truly respect that. But expecting that from others is not right. No one knows what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. At the same time, some people have the option to choose if they want to be open about it, while some don't. That also changes the picture.

I myself only plan to disclose it to my doctors and close friends. That's it, those are the people I can count on. I know well enough to know what's good for me. If I see that disclosing my status in a specific situation will help fight the stigma, I might just do it. Otherwise, hell no.

So my advice to lost_boy is: do what you feel like doing. If you want to be open about it, go ahead. If you are not completely sure about it, then keep it to yourself. You don't have to tell anyone you don't want and it doesn't change who you are.

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2011, 06:49:07 PM »
. I know well enough to know what's good for me. If I see that disclosing my status in a specific situation will help fight the stigma, I might just do it. Otherwise, hell no.

Now that's the American way
Jacob Perry

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

Offline phildinftlaudy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2011, 07:10:42 PM »

I'm in the running for a job with my current employer that really appeals to me.

However, before I go, I need to do a medical check. I have a health form with standard questions and need to declare any ailments. This would be stuff like asthma, heart problems... and obviously, HIV.

I'm kind of a shoe-in for this role as well, and it would raise awkward questions if I didn't get the job or dropped out the running due to a mystery "health problem" anyway. I know it's kind of stupid not to declare this, especially if I am working abroad and the worst happens - but I would rather deal with that then and there, rather then miss this opportunity now.

Is my doctor obligated to be truthful if I go and beg for him to provide me with a bit of paper saying I am fit for the job?

I just don't want it ending up being office gossip for why I didn't get this role...... fess up and face the consequences, or take a gamble and hide my status.

Definitely a decision that only you can make... just some things about your post - you state that you have to disclose any ailments, yet you may not do that --- this would probably end up in you being terminated if your employer finds out.   You say you are okay with that, but yet you say this is a job that you really want - so, are you really going to be okay with getting terminated if the truth comes out?

You say that people would question why you didn't get the role if they pass you over because of the medical condition ----- and that you don't want to become the subject of office gossip if passed up.  Are you going to be okay being the subject of this gossip if you get discharged for lying on the form?

Also, you are not only wanting to be deceptive about your status, but are also wanting to ask a medical professional to be deceptive as well.  I don't know too many who will do this - put their credibility and perhaps license on the line.  Although, you may be able to safely have one say that you do not have any medical conditions that would impact your ability to do the job (but actually, you do have one, it is just under control at the time) ---- hopefully, it will stay that way, because if not, that could also present problems.

Also, do any of the countries where you would be traveling have travel bans related to HIV positive persons?  This may be another thing that could pose problems if your diagnosis comes out, especially, if you are in one of these countries with such a ban.

I guess the final line of your post says it all..... you will be taking a gamble if you pursue this route.... if you are okay with it and with the possible consequences and willing to accept responsibility for those consequences, then do what you feel you must do.

Myself, I had an arrest record.  When looking for new employment a couple of years ago, I debate whether to disclose it - as it was an arrest, not a conviction.  If the question asked if I had been convicted of a crime I safely responded "no."  When it asked if I had been arrested for a felony.... I answered "yes."  There were a few jobs that I did not get.   

My current employer asked me about the arrest during my interview - we got over that hurdle.  I now have the best job I have ever had and my employer knows about my arrest --- no skeletons to fall out of the closet - no fears.  I have also let this same employer know about my status -- once again, no skeletons to fall out of the closet and no fears of it coming out some other way.

So, I will close by saying, that it is definitely a tough decision - hopefully, whatever choice you make, you will be okay with.

Best to you
-Phil
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline mecch

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2011, 07:48:46 PM »
Props to those who take the high road and fight stigma by never hiding or deceiving about their status.
However, one should only do this professionally when one is in a good place.  Yes, if you lie and that might mean a fire if the lie comes out, that sucks. If you like the company.  But you already know the company isn't highly evolved as to respect for the peoples complexity, (eg. a HIV+ person can do a great job and this status doesnt have constraints) - thus the stupid rule and your predicament.  

(By the way, are you SURE your status would be an automatic NO - based on what evidence???  Maybe you are projecting onto your company just your own fears.)

If I had Suzy Orman's recommended financial security, which helps smooth over the loss of a job, Id be tempted to take the high road.  

But Id never risk financial ruin.

And if I were you, I'd evolve my own attitude about how to get ahead.  Do you want to be cutthroat and play politics and play dirty when necessary, or not.  If you do, why are you even asking this question about should you lie?   What goes with that is the assumption that your employer will screw you over at will, as well.

Some companies and careers push this whole consideration about personal integrity more to one way, other companies and careers to the other way.  

And then there are those who claim to always take the high road no matter what.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 07:50:56 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline LM

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2011, 08:08:27 PM »
Now that's the American way

Well, I don't know what that would even be, since I'm not American.

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2011, 10:31:27 PM »
Well, I don't know what that would even be, since I'm not American.

Allow me to translate. If it doesn't benefit me screw it. Human nature at it's finest.
Jacob Perry

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

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2011, 10:35:29 PM »
Allow me to translate. If it doesn't benefit me screw it. Human nature at it's finest.

Yeah, but it's the Australian way too. I'm alright cobber, you can get fucked. :)

MtD

Offline LM

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2011, 10:51:03 PM »
Allow me to translate. If it doesn't benefit me screw it. Human nature at it's finest.

That's totally not it. It's not a question of whether it benefits me, but whether it harms me. What good will it do if I tell someone I don't care about that I'm HIV+? If the person doesn't have any prejudice, it won't make a difference. If the person has prejudice, he/she will just stay away from me, talk behind my back. Would I change something with that? Like I said: if I find myself in a context that disclosing may help to fight the stigma, I may as well just disclose it. Regardless, disclosing it or not does not stop me from fighting the stigma through other means.

I insist: I truly respect who is open about it, but you don't what it's like to be in someone else's shoes, so don't be fast to judge the reasons why someone chooses to disclose something like that or not.

Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2011, 11:19:19 PM »
The op asked about disclosing at work.  I have only know about 10 months now and I did it.  I live paycheck to paycheck. I didn't know what would happen. If i lost my job it would mean moving back home and in with my parents. I do know how hard it is and I too work for a fortune 500 company. I do know that some of my pears talk behind my back but I did it.  It still could totally bite me in ass and I would loss everything but I did it because it's the right thing to do, I did it to fight stigma, I did it and no harm came of it. Too the op if we aspect the worse in people we will receive it.  If you approach it from a honest and sincere place and show you are capable of the job than there shouldn't be any fear of disclosing.  It hasn't even been a year for me but the one thing I do know about this is every little step we take helps us all in the long run. There is no judgment. You we present ourselves as ashamed of course those around us will perceive us as shameful. It you present yourself as hey I have this let's move on others are more likey to follow.
Jacob Perry

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

Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2011, 11:26:02 PM »
The op asked about disclosing at work.  I have only know about 10 months now and I did it.  I live paycheck to paycheck. I didn't know what would happen. If i lost my job it would mean moving back home and in with my parents. I do know how hard it is and I too work for a fortune 500 company. I do know that some of my pears talk behind my back but I did it.  It still could totally bite me in ass and I would loss everything but I did it because it's the right thing to do, I did it to fight stigma, I did it and no harm came of it. Too the op if we aspect the worse in people we will receive it.  If you approach it from a honest and sincere place and show you are capable of the job than there shouldn't be any fear of disclosing.  It hasn't even been a year for me but the one thing I do know about this is every little step we take helps us all in the long run. There is no judgment. You we present ourselves as ashamed of course those around us will perceive us as shameful. It you present yourself as hey I have this let's move on others are more likey to follow.

Its not fair to expect everyone who contracts a disease to become an advocate or activist for said disease. 

Also, could you please read your post Jeepguy before posting, the spelling and grammer errors make it difficult to read.
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2011, 11:42:13 PM »
Thanks for the bitch smack bug
Jacob Perry

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

Offline David_CA

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2011, 11:51:20 PM »
I'm not sure that disclosing HIV status, if it even is asked on the form, as part of a hiring process is fighting discrimination.  If doing so keeps an individual from being hired, who benefits?  Certainly the HIV+ individual who disclosed and was not hired / promoted hasn't benefited, and I don't see how HIV+ people in general benefit.  There's a time and place to help educate, reduce stigma, etc, but I don't think that doing so during an interview or hiring is it.

If I was going for the job and there was no legitimate reason that my being positive would interfere, I'd probably lie about it too.  Ask me an inappropriate question, and I'll likely respond with an equally inappropriate answer.
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
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  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
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05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
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11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
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Offline carousel

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2011, 04:42:49 AM »
Jake

I wonder if you are slightly shoehorning your own experience of wanting to be open into what may not be right for others.

The only reason I would tell at work, would be if it was helpful to me.  Feeling liberated and breaking down prejudice does not cut it with me.  I don't mind anybody knowing I'm gay, but would draw the line at them knowing my penchant for raw cock.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2011, 04:59:52 AM »
Unless someone sees being gay or being posiitve as their defining attribute, I really see no reason to disclose at work.

What you do in your bedroom or the consequences thereof are no one's business but your own and those directly affected.

Every person is different and every circumstance/situation is different. What works for others may not work for you because they are not YOU. Not everyone wants to be the poster boy for gay rights and/or HIV stigma reduction.

Only you know what works best for you.

Just my thoughts.
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 skeebo1969

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2011, 07:26:40 AM »
Right-o, it's looking like I am facing a bit of a bind.

I'm in the running for a job with my current employer that really appeals to me. I'd be going out to various foreign countries for a couple of months at a time, but I would be working quite long hours, demanding situations. It would be hard work, but not unsafe.

However, before I go, I need to do a medical check. I have a health form with standard questions and need to declare any ailments. This would be stuff like asthma, heart problems... and obviously, HIV.

I'm currently on medication. I'm not unwell, never a sick day, and this job isn't something where I wouldn't be able to take my medication daily. My doctor has assured me he would proscribe enough medication to take with me, and then some. So I'm not worried about that.

However - I know if I declare my HIV status at this stage, I would be out the running (I am almost certain of this). It's competitive, and any reason to knock candidates out the running will no doubt be taken. Also, I've not declared my status to my employer at the moment. This current health stuff wouldn't be subject to the same confidential non-disclosure that you'd usually expect - as in, colleagues who are friends would see it as part of the assessment process (it's meant to be confidential within the team I'm applying for, but I think we all know how these things work in real life).

I'm kind of a shoe-in for this role as well, and it would raise awkward questions if I didn't get the job or dropped out the running due to a mystery "health problem" anyway. I know it's kind of stupid not to declare this, especially if I am working abroad and the worst happens - but I would rather deal with that then and there, rather then miss this opportunity now.

My other concern is that I would need (assuming I get offered the job) a clean bill of health from my doctor. I have declared my HIV status to my GP (that's my doctor, for American readers!). This is my BIG worry. Is my doctor obligated to be truthful if I go and beg for him to provide me with a bit of paper saying I am fit for the job? Could I go and sign up to another GP, who doesn't know my status, and simply get the clean bill of health from them?

All the the pre-deployment health check is a couple of laps of a race course, some pushups, blood pressure check etc. They won't be doing blood/urine checks, anything like that. I'm fit and (essentially) healthy - I feel in a real bind!!

Thoughts appreciated. I'm not in denial about my status - I just don't want it ending up being office gossip for why I didn't get this role, and HIV just won't be treated the same as if I had a bad back or a heart murmour  :(  Need to fill out the health self-assessment early next week, so need to decide whether to fess up and face the consequences, or take a gamble and hide my status.

I'm not so sure I would disclose in this situation.  It seems it could be more detrimental than good, but it's hard to say for sure with what you describe.   If you hid your status from them is there any possibility they may find out at a later time?   If not, I would say don't do it.  Office politics are enough to deal with on there own.  Throw HIV into the mix and I am afraid your suspicions may prove correct, making you fodder for the ignorant.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2011, 07:36:55 AM »
Also, could you please read your post Jeepguy before posting, the spelling and grammer errors make it difficult to read.


Hello Bug:  grammer is spelled grammar   --  ::)

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2011, 08:11:07 AM »

Hello Bug:  grammer is spelled grammar   --  ::)

Maybe he meant Kelsy Grammer...  lol
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2011, 09:25:39 AM »

Hello Bug:  grammer is spelled grammar   --  ::)

Thanks for the bitch slap emerldize.  I hope you didnt have to re-read my post a few times to figure out what the hell I was saying. 
"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

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Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2011, 09:30:02 AM »
Bug, if you don't want to be bitch-slapped, perhaps you shouldn't deliver the first blow.

Let's have an end to this pedantic high-jack, ok? Thanks.

Ann
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2011, 09:55:55 AM »
lost boy sorry if I came across preachy.  I just wanted to share that its not always bad to disclose.  When I first came here everyone told me the same about not disclosing.  I just wanted to share a experience where some one has disclosed and it actually has made things easier.  Its not always a bad thing. 
Jacob Perry

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

Offline CaptCarl

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2011, 11:44:55 AM »
Thanks for the bitch smack bug

Thanks for the bitch slap emerldize.  I hope you didnt have to re-read my post a few times to figure out what the hell I was saying. 

Typical Bugger. Comes in criticizing others while simultaneously doing the exact same thing he's whining about. Then cries like a little bitch when he gets smacked for it. People in glass houses and all that......

CaptCarl
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2011, 12:08:32 PM »
Jake

I wonder if you are slightly shoehorning your own experience of wanting to be open into what may not be right for others.

The only reason I would tell at work, would be if it was helpful to me.  Feeling liberated and breaking down prejudice does not cut it with me.  I don't mind anybody knowing I'm gay, but would draw the line at them knowing my penchant for raw cock.

Not shoehorning. I personally have seen nothing but kindness and understanding from all I've told when it comes to  the professional side of my life. When I started meds they kinda messed with me and employer knowing that gave me some slack. It was and still is greatly appreciated. I believe with them knowing it has helped with scheduling my doctor appt.s and for me I was promoted two days after I received the news so I have to admit for the first month it was hard to concentrate. With my employer knowing all this it really has made life simpler.

I don't know why this thread is so important to me other than to say we have enough to deal with mentally , physically, and emotionally. 

Sorry if my grammar isn't perfect. Half the time I post I'm on break from work and using my iPhone to post.
Jacob Perry

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

Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2011, 12:38:07 PM »
It is great you had such a positive experience (pun intended).  I wish everyone the same.  We all know that is not likely. 

Sometimes its OK to lie.  I just would hope you understand everyone may not receive the same reaction and some people may not be ready to disclose yet.
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2011, 12:44:22 PM »
Bug you really need to back Of on riding my ass.
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2011, 12:44:57 PM »
Oh sorry that is off my ass
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Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2011, 12:49:33 PM »
What the hell are u talking about
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2011, 12:54:21 PM »
Ann has warned you and now I am.  You know what
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Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #56 on: June 12, 2011, 12:58:24 PM »
Warned me about what? What the hell are u talking about? Bit of a loose cannon today are we?
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Offline PozJeepGuy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2011, 01:01:22 PM »
You are hijacking this thread. Easy to be a big man when it comes to typing. Try living it.  Oh wait it's ok to lie your way threw life   
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Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #58 on: June 12, 2011, 01:04:51 PM »
 ???
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Offline Joe K

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #59 on: June 12, 2011, 01:10:41 PM »
If you really want this job, then I suggest you do some research on what your options really are.  Having experienced HIV discrimination first hand, I know how difficult it can be to be judged by your disease.  However, with that being said, I think that, as your boss, I would have a real issue with your lying to me, as opposed to telling me at some point in time.  What I would try to do, is to avoid the question entirely if possible, but once you got the new job, I would find a way to inform my superiors of my health status.

For me, securing a new job is not the time to worry about advocating for the rights of pozzies.  Yes it is wrong to be questioned about health issues and there are laws that are meant to protect, but this goes far beyond any law.  The main focus to me, is for you to develop a great working relationship with your boss and that can only come from being an honest employee.  Therefore, I suggest you do whatever possible to avoid any reference to your health, during the hiring process and see what happens.  If you get the new job, then I suggest you speak with HR and officially advise them of your status, if you feel it is necessary.

It all comes down to acting like a mature adult and being honest about your reality.  It does not mean you do not try and protect yourself, rather it means that if your employer thinks so much of you, to offer this opportunity, then you have a duty to be honest with that employer.
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Offline buginme2

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #60 on: June 12, 2011, 01:28:32 PM »
In addition to not having to be an advocate for a disease simply because you have that disease, there is also a degree of privacy that people should be afforded.  In the US, FMLA laws allow you to take time off work for chronic illness without disclosing what the illness is to your employer.   An employer doesn't have the "right" to know and you are not obligated to share.  I don't see how that is at all not being honest.   
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Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #61 on: June 12, 2011, 01:49:04 PM »
Typical Bugger. Comes in criticizing others while simultaneously doing the exact same thing he's whining about. Then cries like a little bitch when he gets smacked for it. People in glass houses and all that......

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2011, 01:51:34 PM »
.My other concern is that I would need (assuming I get offered the job) a clean bill of health from my doctor.

Since you don't actually know if you will be offered the job and you don't know whether they even require an evaluation from your doctor then of course you should apply for the position. If you are offered the position and they do require a "clean bill of health" from your GP then, before signing a consent for release of information for your GP, I would discuss the situation with your GP. I would make a case with the GP that my health is good by every measure, that HIV would not affect my ability to do this job and that I would like him to sign off that I have no medical conditions that prevent me from working. That is the truth. If he has any reservations I want a rational explanation.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #63 on: June 12, 2011, 02:00:51 PM »
In addition to not having to be an advocate for a disease simply because you have that disease, there is also a degree of privacy that people should be afforded.  In the US, FMLA laws allow you to take time off work for chronic illness without disclosing what the illness is to your employer.   An employer doesn't have the "right" to know and you are not obligated to share.  I don't see how that is at all not being honest.   

I made my suggestions because of the unique nature of the job that the OP has described.  It involves working in other countries which may have restrictions on pozzies and if so, his boss has a right to know his status.  This is not an issue of being honest, as being smart.  If something were to happen to the OP, while working oversees, the last thing he needs is his boss to be told that he is sick because he is poz and the boss never knew.

But more important, at least to me, is having a boss who will accept me for my abilities, regardless of any medical concerns.  IMHO this job would require telling someone, within my company about my status, for my protection as well as that of the company. 
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Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #64 on: June 12, 2011, 02:26:03 PM »
Every person is different and every circumstance/situation is different. What works for others may not work for you because they are not YOU. Not everyone wants to be the poster boy for gay rights and/or HIV stigma reduction.

Only you know what works best for you.

I had to second this notion. All my life because of the fact that I have been thin, I have been the brunt of manorexic and crack addict jokes.

About a decade ago I worked for a major corporation in finance closely with the top Managing Director of a certain division that paved the foundation for what happened in 2008 when the bottom fell out.  Anyway, there was this one woman who always made it a point to direct inappropriate "you sure are skinny" and "you need to eat more" remarks my way any chance she got, especially whenever the higher ups were around, as my boss had other managers under him so I was always around them during my work day.  

So one day while she was waiting for me to set up something that she needed my boss' approval for, she really went there by commenting on how I was so thin and asked if I was sick and I looked her straight in the face and asked if she were jealous over the fact that I could eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce while she didn't have the same luxury.  Needless to say, she never approached me again in that manner.

And based upon what spacebar said, I could only imagine what would've been said about me if that entire division knew my status, despite the fact that I am sure they were aware of my sexual orientation; as there were a handful of other gay men and lesbians who worked in the department and it was no big deal, albeit none of us openly came out of the closet and flaunted it.  But for someone to be gay and poz, I'm not so sure how that would've played out.

So basically, I agree - a person has to do whatever they feel is right for themselves, no matter what it is pertaining to their life. Unless you walk in someone else's shoes, you can only empathize with what they go thorough as an individual.
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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #65 on: June 12, 2011, 02:31:43 PM »
Eat, Papa, eat! Nobody likes a skinny Santa!
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Offline lost_boy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #66 on: June 12, 2011, 02:32:29 PM »
If you really want this job, then I suggest you do some research on what your options really are.  Having experienced HIV discrimination first hand, I know how difficult it can be to be judged by your disease.  However, with that being said, I think that, as your boss, I would have a real issue with your lying to me, as opposed to telling me at some point in time.  What I would try to do, is to avoid the question entirely if possible, but once you got the new job, I would find a way to inform my superiors of my health status.

That's the issue. I suspect my immediate bosses would be supportive if I had a quiet word. But corporately, it would be a fight.

I also should have declared my HIV status immediately when I found out... but I did not (number of reasons, as I was steal dealing with the news in my own head). It's kind of too late now as well ("you were diagnosed 18 months ago and you only tell us now?!"). But, I'm still functioning, doing the same job, and doing it better at it than many of my co-workers!  ::) meh!

lost boy sorry if I came across preachy.  I just wanted to share that its not always bad to disclose.  When I first came here everyone told me the same about not disclosing.  I just wanted to share a experience where some one has disclosed and it actually has made things easier.  Its not always a bad thing.  

Hey Jeepguy, no worries. It bothers me that I have to hide something about myself and that really, I am just reinforcing the stigma that pressurises us all and being "part of the problem". I mean, I wouldn't have to hide it if I had cancer, or diabetes, or any number of things... In fact you'd get treated with the utmost sympathy and understanding. It just sucks that HIV does produce does not produce this kind of response, for all kinds of complex reasons. It's the same with mental illness, really.

I'm just a realist about these things. If it helps peoples to understand my situation, I work in a military environment. I'm gay, and I'm open about it, but it took me a while to reach that stage as I just had to make sure it wouldn't become an issue. And it hasn't. But I think it would be a step too far to disclose I have HIV and yes, I am aware I am running a risk of losing my job, but no, I don't think this gamble outweighs the possible benefits of disclosure.

I'm also not certain that the disability and equaliities act protects me in this instance - my employer does have a genuine need to know things that could affect my work in theatre. However, I'm not "front line" by any means. The fact remains that the corporate understanding isn't there - I could argue til I'm blue in the face about how I can and do live a normal life with HIV, bar popping a pill every 24 hours, but that would require a lot of fighting that I'm not sure I can win, and attention I do not want being drawn to me.

I would discuss the situation with your GP. I would make a case with the GP that my health is good by every measure, that HIV would not affect my ability to do this job and that I would like him to sign off that I have no medical conditions that prevent me from working. That is the truth. If he has any reservations I want a rational explanation.

That's basically what I'm going to do as the next step this week! Let's see how it goes... At the end of the day, if I can't persuade a doctor to give me a go-ahead and a "fit to work" statement, it won't matter anyway.

Or... I might just make a hash of the interview and not get it for more mundane reasons, and all this discussion will just be thereotical!!  :P

Offline lost_boy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #67 on: June 12, 2011, 02:37:59 PM »

Solo_LT, as a fellow sting bean, I feel your pain!

And based upon what spacebar said, I could only imagine what would've been said about me if that entire division knew my status, despite the fact that I am sure they were aware of my sexual orientation; as there were a handful of other gay men and lesbians who worked in the department and it was no big deal, albeit none of us openly came out of the closet and flaunted it.  But for someone to be gay and poz, I'm not so sure how that would've played out.
That's basically it. Gay - not a problem (unless I was really mincing it up, but then even then I suspect some people would find that hilarious...). Gay and poz - I'm not sure how people would react to that.

As an aside, as I'm thinking about this - a colleague of mine has recently recovered from an operation to remove a tumour from her neck. She had a very dark sense of humour, and will crack jokes about her cancer ruining her holiday, and so on. It's how she deals with it, and is comfortable enough to laugh about it. I think that's the healthiest approach to these things, but when she does it publicly, I can see some people laugh and others look awkward, stare at feet, not know what to say... and that's people's reactions when discussing cancer, which has affected almost everyone or somebody you know and is widely understood. Imagine the awkwardness and lack of understanding to openly discuss HIV, let alone cancer, in a workplace environment.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 02:42:46 PM by lost_boy »

Offline lost_boy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #68 on: June 12, 2011, 02:41:39 PM »
deleted, double post!

Offline denb45

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #69 on: June 12, 2011, 03:00:32 PM »
WHEW! I just read this entire thread, and wanted to have my say here, I tested POZ on the job, so, they found out about my POZ-status, after that, I only lasted  5 yrs. in that job, and went on to another job, I didn't tell of my POZ-status until a few yrs later when I started getting sick & missing work, they were very supportive, and didn't dang-me for not disclosing status when i was hired-on...

 i did good work, and they like my work, i had more experience and training then most of them, so, i was in-charge of what they weren't doing correctly on-the-street, i lasted almost 10 yrs. on that job and retired-out and went on SSDI disability w/ a Teamsters Pension for the rest of my life, it's ok, if you don't wanna disclose, and it's ok, if you do, it's really up to you and nobody else, that's my 2 cents here  ;)
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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #70 on: June 12, 2011, 04:59:44 PM »
, it's ok, if you don't wanna disclose, and it's ok, if you do, it's really up to you and nobody else, that's my 2 cents here  ;)

Well said!  Short and to the point.
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Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2011, 07:57:31 AM »
Lost, one thing that you would need to consider with this new job is travel insurance. Your company probably has a policy that covers their employees, but with most travel insurance, any pre-existing health conditions have to be disclosed. If something health-wise happens while abroad and you haven't disclosed a pre-existing condition, the policy is usually rendered null-and-void.

I only know of one firm in the UK that will cover hiv as a pre-existing condition. They do not increase the premiums for someone on treatment and stable, or someone not on treatment with good numbers. They also do corporate accounts. I've used them while travelling and so has my poz bf - they are a good company.  http://www.freedominsure.co.uk/

It may well be that the pre-existing health conditions aspect of travel insurance is why your company are being so interested in the job candidates' health. Something to think about.
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Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2011, 08:28:18 AM »
Lostguy

It seems there are a few issues here:

1) Whether you want to disclose to co-workers.  If you do want to disclose, doing it third-hand via a form is not likely to produce the best results.  The personal touch helps...

2) Whether your employer feels that, due to the nature of your work you need to disclose.  Typically a large organization will have an HR department that can help you if you have a question on this.  That would enable you to find out whether you are a long term fit.  Ann has posted some general info on UK law, but you are not sure that would protect you, so again I'd encourage you to reach out to a UK ASO and see if they know of other people in similar employment and how the law worked.  If the law does indeed protect at least your interactions with HR, then you could have a discussion with them to find out whether the health info you provide will be shared with a team of your co-workers.  If the info is protected, that info may wind up being redacted before the form is shared (or your conversation may remind HR that they need to have it redacted). 

If the company really believes it important that your co-workers in theater know your status, and you are unwilling to disclose it, that's one thing.  But maybe you should find out.
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Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #73 on: June 13, 2011, 02:05:52 PM »
A couple of moving parts to this discussion.

Is it reasonable to think that they will not require you to not only disclose but eventually test you for hiv?  If they're just going to test you anyway lying won't help you.

Will your HIV+ status interfere with the work?  Due to the different countries you may be traveling to and the length of time you may be staying will you be able to discreetly obtain meds all the while keeping said countries unaware of your status?

If you think you can pull this off then I would say go for it, but there are a lot of hurdles to your goal it seems like.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #74 on: June 13, 2011, 04:34:46 PM »
Hi --

I wanted to clarify something. When I first replied to your thread, I thought you were a US citizen. I've had a couple of situations in which an ID doc has offered to write "around" the dx.  That is why I wrote.

With Ann and others in the UK advising you, you're getting great input for sure. I still believe your ID doc or one of his colleagues might have insight about this type of situation -- they've had several decades to help people navigate employment and other legal issues.

Of course, we're all awaiting your next post and direction on this.

Em

Offline buca45

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #75 on: June 13, 2011, 09:12:41 PM »
Jake,


You've stepped out and worn your poz status the like badge of honour it is.

We salute you.






MtD
Really? 'badge of honour'? Really?
While I am not AS embarrassed about it as I used to be, it sure as hell is not something I am proud of having nor do I let it define who I am as a person. It is MY thing and not everyone I come in contact with needs to know my personal business.
I think it is ridiculous to expect Lost to 'hold his head high' and become a stigma eliminating role model for all of us to follow. Being an advocate for all HIV Positive people vs landing my dream job? I'd take the dream job!
If it does not 'feel' right for you to disclose, don't do it. I am more of a 'cross that bridge when you come to it' kind of man, so I would not disclose at this crucial time. Should it come out at a later date, then deal with it then. As long as you are able to perform the duties of this new position to benefit yourself and the company, then who needs to know about it?
I am with others in saying 'keep us informed' about the outcome.
Good Luck with your decision.
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Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #76 on: June 14, 2011, 09:43:18 AM »
Well, like I said in reply #71, I have a feeling Lost's company is so interested in the health status of any candidate for this job is because of the travel insurance issue. Any pre-existing health conditions that are not disclosed can cause a whole lot of trouble down the line if the employee is unfortunate enough to become sick or injured - or even die - while abroad.

There is a way around this - but it involves disclosing. It is possible in the UK to obtain travel insurance while having a pre-existing health problem and it's not just limited to hiv; cancer and diabetes, for example, can both be covered. Lost's company may not even be aware that there is an insurance company who will cover such people and who also do corporate accounts. It could possibly be a case of Lost helping out his company.
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Offline leese43

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #77 on: June 14, 2011, 02:43:23 PM »

 colleagues who are friends would see it as part of the assessment process (it's meant to be confidential within the team I'm applying for, but I think we all know how these things work in real life).



Sounds to me like the HR department are treading on very thin ice in allowing colleagues to assess on whether you are capable of doing a job or not partly based on your medical history. Are they qualified in the medical field to do this?

You absolutely do not have to disclose to work colleagues. if you feel that you should disclose to the company then I'd suggest that you make an appointment to meet with an HR officer or higher. Explain to them first that you wish to speak to them confidentially and that you do not expect the information you give to them to be divulged without your permission.

Explain that you will be applying for the position and are aware that they'd like information on your medical history and that, although you know that it should not make any difference to your application, you wanted to explain the situation to them in person because you were not going to write it on the form for all of the team to see.

I'd also go armed with Ann's info on travel insurance and give it to them saying that you're sure that would be their only concern.

I did it this way and it worked in my favour. I know that doesn't necessarily mean it will work in yours but they really wouldn't have a leg if you could prove they passed you by because of your status and I'm quite sure your HR people would know this too.

Leese
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 02:53:10 PM by leese43 »
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Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2011, 08:11:49 PM »
Really? 'badge of honour'? Really?


Really. It's a badge of honour when you refuse to let other people make you feel ashamed. The more we hide, the more we have to hide.

I'm poz and I refuse to hide it from anyone. I'd rather go hungry and jobless than to deny who and what I am. If any employer had a problem with my being poz, I would refuse to work for them - and I have.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #79 on: June 15, 2011, 07:51:03 AM »
when i first became positive i did not disclose to my company basically because i didn't feel that i would ever get sick,so it was never their business!!This company is one of the largest employers in the state.Anyway during the first year i developed shingles on the right side of my face and head ,the most painful thing i ever experienced!!!After several weeks of being out sick i decided to inform my company of my status.The following few days i was called into a meeting where all of my fellow employees were seated along with my supervisor and his manager.The meeting was being held to determine if any of my fellow employees had ANY PROBLEMS in working with me because of my status.One by one each one stood up and declared if they had a problem or if they just were not sure.I was mortified,scared,angry and i ended up leaving the meeting in a daze.Well  after this episode i decided to take things into my own hands and started to find out about disability and requirements for social security.I have been on disabilty and social security for almost 18 yrs.I KNOW that this happened to me over 18 yrs ago but have things really changed as far as the rights of a person being hiv +.I PRAY THAT THEY HAVE !!!

Offline mecch

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #80 on: June 15, 2011, 10:57:01 AM »
The following few days i was called into a meeting where all of my fellow employees were seated along with my supervisor and his manager.The meeting was being held to determine if any of my fellow employees had ANY PROBLEMS in working with me because of my status.One by one each one stood up and declared if they had a problem or if they just were not sure.I was mortified,scared,angry and i ended up leaving the meeting in a daze.

18years ago, ok, but still, UNfuckingBELIEVABLY cruel and offensive.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #81 on: June 15, 2011, 11:32:17 AM »
i do remember that after that meeting ,my boss called me into his office and sat me down and advised me that i should consider JUST QUITTING!!HE SAID THAT I SHOULD JUST TAKE WHAT I HAD IN MY PENSION(ABOUT 35,000) AND QUIT.I'M telling this story because i  totally belive that a person should seriousily think about disclosing his status to his employer,if the situation had been different for me at the time ,i would have NEVER disclosed!!!

Offline lost_boy

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #82 on: June 15, 2011, 06:58:40 PM »
Hey all,

Thanks very much for your input. It is all food for thought... the stuff about travel insurance, visas for countries that don't allow in people with HIV, all give me pause. But, I'm gambling that nothing bad happens while I am away. (if it does - I'll have to cross that bridge later!).

So, I've spoken to a few people.

- I had a discreet word with a close friend of mine who is currently doing the role I'm applying for. I mentioned, in a roundabout way, health concerns, though I did not spell out exactly what, and he was sympathetic enough not to ask. He spelled it out for me: if I want the job, don't mention it. Don't mention anything. Don't even say you get bad migraines. Health issues = no job.

Strangely this reassures me (hey, it's not just HIV that would knock me out the running, it could be as simple as a bad back!). And I'm pretty sure it's the company being overcautious, but that's the nature of the beast. An individual with no health issues will get the job over a candidate with a health issue. So it's that simple.

- I spoke as well to my HIV doctor. She advised that I should go to my GP (regular doctor) in the first instance, and explain the situation. If it's a letter saying I'm "fit to work", he should hopefully be able to provide me with that. If it's a case where they send an actual questionnaire, he's duty bound to fill it in correctly (and then I am rumbled and up shit creek). IF that's the case, they can help me out, but she pointed out it may raise questions why I'm getting a specialist rather than my local doctor to sign the form. She continued though that I'm not the only person in a similar predicament (she used an example of airline cabin crew who have HIV, so therefore have to travel lots etc) and there's ways to get through it.

She also assured me they'd be happy to give me a couple of extra months medication in case of emergency/so I have a backup if travel is delayed or for whatever reason. This is also good news, think it's because they know I'm not about to disappear to outer Mongolia or sell the drugs on the black market or something equally ridiculous... I've been a good citizen with them!

So all in all, this could work. I'm also going to have a word with an HR person to check my position (as Leese43 rightly advises). Although my medical file should stay under lock and key with HR, I do think they get disseminated in particular instances such as this where "appropriate". Ultimately I'm just not clear where the information ultimately ends up, and who with, so until I know it's the cautious approach for me. (I also don't have much faith in my HR team, most of my dealings with them have been fraught when it comes to even the most minor issues like missing pay slips!).

Armando - what a horrible story :( I'm really sorry you were treated that way. Regardless of when it took place, it's truly despicable.

Offline David_CA

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #83 on: June 15, 2011, 10:25:38 PM »


- I had a discreet word with a close friend of mine who is currently doing the role I'm applying for. I mentioned, in a roundabout way, health concerns, though I did not spell out exactly what, and he was sympathetic enough not to ask. He spelled it out for me: if I want the job, don't mention it. Don't mention anything. Don't even say you get bad migraines. Health issues = no job.

Those were my feelings all along.  Employers simply don't want sick employees or employees with health issues.  In an employers mind, people with health issues tend to miss more work than those without.  This doesn't mean that those of us who are HIV+ miss more work than anybody else; I think I've missed about 3 days due to shingles and a cold since diagnosis over 5 years ago (not including when I was hospitalized with PCP).  Overall, I have a better attendance record than the HIV- people at work, which is probably the rest of the department. 
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Ann

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Re: Should I lie about my status to get a job I want?
« Reply #84 on: June 16, 2011, 10:15:49 AM »
Lost, if you do not disclose your status and get the job, then if I were you, I'd take out a travel insurance policy with Freedom. As I said earlier, any pre-existing, undisclosed medical issue will make a policy null-and-void if and when you need it.

Your company probably has an insurance company that covers their travelling employees, but if you had your own personal policy, you could get around being left high-and-dry should something of a medical nature happen while you're abroad. You never know, you could be in a traffic accident and even though being poz would have little or no bearing on your medical treatment, if it is discovered that you are poz the policy would be rendered null-and-void and you would have to pay out-of-pocket for your care.

The company I linked you to earlier has policies which can run for a year and cover multiple trips. Their prices are reasonable, particularly when you consider that most companies will not issue policies for someone with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, heart disease, cancer or hiv. When I went travelling with my neg bf, our premiums were exactly the same as I had a low VL and CD4s in a normal range. He had no other pre-existing conditions. Their premiums are only higher when someone is not particularly well with whatever pre-existing condition they have.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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